Visions of The Blessed Virgin Mary
There are many Marian apparitions where Our Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to people here on earth and where she has interceded through miracles.
I didn’t quite get the hoopla over Mary in the Catholic Church when I was initially seeking the truth on my faith journey. And even when I did understand the reasoning for the devotion, I struggled to see why I would go to her when I had a straight line to Jesus.
Then Father Michael Gaitley caught my attention with a DVD series “Divine Mercy in the Second Greatest Story Ever Told,” where he talks about St. Maximilian Kolbe, Our Lady of Fatima, St. John Paul II, and their devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
So, after I watched it, I started to understand how overwhelmingly dedicated St. John Paul II was to her. If you read about his assassination attempt, he gives the Blessed Mother all the credit for his survival: “She guided the bullet, it is all because of Mary.” His devotion was remarkable, and he was the one who created Divine Mercy Sunday. This day is very special to me; I went to my second Confession—after 26 years—that day in 2013.
Let me present you with two short stories. You can Google Marian Apparitions and find many more.
Let’s first look at the story of Our Lady of Fatima and the three peasant children who saw Mary. Last year (2017) was the 100-year anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. Mary appeared to three children—Lucia (9), Francisco (8) and Jacinta (6).
She revealed secret messages to them to be revealed in later times. These came to be known as the three secrets of Fatima, which all came true:
- A vision of hell (that the three children saw)
- The end of WWI and the arrival and spread of communism, the end of communism, and the victory of the Church we have observed in Russia (a sign was promised in the heavens, and this occurred 01/25/1938 with the appearance of the Aurora Borealis).
- Not revealed until 2000: the prediction of the assassination of John Paul II, according to the Church.
The predictions of Our Lady of Fatima are widely documented—even by The New York Times. The Miracle of the Sun was witnessed by over 70,000 people including many other newspaper reporters and photographers. Some reports say the witnesses were as many as 100,000. The miracle was that the sun danced in the sky, changed colors, and rotated like a wheel. It did not harm the eyes of the people who saw it and it was visible to those as far as 40 kilometers away. It was pouring rain, and everyone was soaking wet, standing in water up to their calves with mud everywhere. But after the sun “did its thing,” everyone was dry as a bone, their clothes were clean, and the ground was all dried up.
I recall the youngest, Jacinta, who was only six years old, was quoted saying these things:
“Why doesn’t Our Lady show hell to sinners? If they saw it, they would not sin, so as to avoid going there! I am so sorry for sinners! If only I can show them hell!”
“The sins of the world are very great, if men only knew what eternity is, they would do everything in their power to change their lives.”
“You must pray much for sinners, priests, and religious.”
“Fly from riches and luxury; love poverty and silence; have charity, even for bad people.”
“Confession is a sacrament of mercy and we must confess with joy and trust.”
“Oh, 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” (This is said after every decade of the Rosary).
Our Lady revealed to Jacinta that she could no longer uphold the arm of her divine Son, which would strike the world. She told the children that if people amended their lives, Our Lord would relent and save the world; but if they didn’t, punishment would come.
Here is another one for you—in the state of Wisconsin!
We have our OWN National Shrine here in our country—the ONLY Marian shrine in the United States on the site of an approved apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, formally approved by the Catholic Church on December 8th, 2010.
Mary appeared to a Belgian-born woman, Adele Brise, way back in 1859.
Adele reported seeing a woman clothed in white and standing between two trees. Adele described the woman as surrounded by a bright light, dressed in dazzling white with a yellow sash around her waist and a crown of stars above her head. She was scared at the vision! When she mentioned it to her parents, they suggested that a poor soul might be in need of prayers (perhaps in Purgatory).
The following Sunday, she saw the apparition again while walking to Mass. Both her sister and another woman were with her but didn’t see anything. She asked the priest what she should say if she saw her again; he said she should ask, “In the Name of God, who are you and what do you wish of me?” Returning from Mass that same day, she saw the apparition a third time and asked that very question.
The lady replied, “I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do the same.” Adele was also given a mission to “gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation.” This meant to teach them the Catholic faith, how to make the Sign of the Cross, and how to live life according to the Sacraments.
The night of October 8, 1871, a firestorm spread consuming everything in its path. (This was the same night as the Chicago fire, but this one was bigger.)
The sisters, the children, area farmers, and their families fled to the Shrine’s chapel for protection. In defiance of the flames, they lifted the statue of Mary and carried it around the sanctuary grounds. When wind and fire threatened suffocation in one direction, they turned in another direction to pray.
Hours later, a downpour came and put out the fire. The area surrounding the Shrine’s grounds was destroyed and desolate. Though the fire charred the chapel fence, it had not harmed the chapel grounds.
The only livestock to survive the fire were the cattle farmers led to the chapel. Though the chapel well was only a few feet deep, it gave the cattle outside all the water they needed to survive the fire, while many deeper wells in the area went dry.
Adele asked those assembled at the chapel to retire to the convent. There, they were made as comfortable as possible for the rest of the night. The Belgian pioneers needed no more proof that Mary’s promise to Adele was genuine.
This was the worst recorded fire disaster in US history!
The more I learn about Our Lady, the more I get it. I have a new dedication and reliance on her help and intercession in my life. Yes, I still go straight to Jesus, but I also go to his loving mother.
Let me know your thoughts on this. Maybe you can go to Our Mother; she is here to love us all and bring us all home to her Son’s Kingdom.