To celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, I dedicate these posts about several Marian Apparitions. I wonder, how would it be like to be a visionary? a victim soul? What I know is that most of the visionaries experienced immediate conversion, and if they were already faithful to begin with, their faith got deeper. Also, in most cases, they went through a life of penance. Having seen a slice of heaven, everything in this world was as though nothing compared to the glories of heaven. Therefore, the penances they offered and suffered for many were 'insignificant' compared to the triumphs that awaited a soul in grace in heaven.
The sources of the information in this post are linked to the titles.
Earlier, St. Simon Stock went on a pilgrimage to Holy Land. There, he met some hermits from Mt. Carmel (the same Mt. Carmel that was referred to in the Old Testament) who claimed to be followers of the prophet Elijah. The latter returned to St. Simon Stock to England when the situation in Palestine became dangerous because of the incursion by the Saracens. These group became known as the mendicant order of Carmelites. As the group grew, St. Simon encountered problems, one of which involved the 'solitary hermits' being confronted with a 'communal life'. St. Simon retreated in prayer and on July 16, St. Simon had the vision of the Blessed Mother appearing and offering to him the Brown Scapular with the words - “Take, beloved son this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all carmelites, a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant”.
The apparition occurred in Knock, Ireland on August 21, 1879. That evening, Mary MacLoughlin, the parish housekeeper, and Mary Byrne were on their way home when they saw a vision of the Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph and Saint John standing out to the west of the Church gable. The Blessed Mother was standing upright and was looking up to heaven. Some other people, about 15 of them all, witnessed the occurrence. Some witnesses claimed that the vision seemed to retreat whenever the people got nearer. One older lady tried to touch the feet of the Blessed Mother but the latter seemed to be always beyond reach. Meanwhile, those who were in the fields noticed that the Church was bathe in light. Nothing was said during this apparition which lasted for about three hours.
In 1971, the apparition was approved by the Church as quite probable.
The Blessed Mother appeared to a young lady, Mariette Beco, several times from January 15, 1933 to February 20, 1933. During these apparitions, the Blessed Mother introduced herself as the Virgin of the Poor. She led the young woman to a spring about which She said - “This spring is reserved for all the nations to relieve the sick.”
Here are the words that Our Lady said during the course of the apparitions:
"This stream is reserved for me, Good evening."
"Push your hands into the water."
"I am the Virgin of the poor. "
"This spring is reserved for all the nations - to relieve the sick."
"I shall pray for you. Au Revoir."
"I come to relieve suffering."
"Believe in me, I will believe in you. Pray much. Au Revoir."
"My dear child, pray much. Au Revoir."
"I am the Mother of the Saviour, Mother of God, Pray much. Adieu."
This apparition was approved by the Church in 1949.
The Blessed Mother appeared to five children – Fernande and Albert Voison, Gilberte Voison, Andree and Gilberte Degeimbre several times from November 29, 1932 to January 3, 1933.
The first time that the children saw the Blessed Mother was when the four went to fetch Gilberte Voison from the convent where she was studying. The children saw the Blessed Mother floating above a bridge and walking on air. They were shocked and afraid and asked the nun who opened the door of the convent for help. The nun, however, did not notice anything amiss and thought that the children were just being their usual silly self. At home, the children were scolded severely by their parents for inventing such things. In any case, apparitions occurred several more times in the course of that winter. In the last days of the apparitions, the children saw the Blessed Mother with the golden heart. The Blessed Mother spoke individually to each child. Here is a list of the words that the Blessed Mother said in the course of the apparitions:
"Always be good."
Mary indicated that she was the Immaculate Virgin when questioned, and told the children to return on 8 December, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
When asked by Fernande if she wanted a chapel built, she replied, "Yes," before disappearing. Mary again asked for a chapel.
"My last apparition will take place soon."
"Pray, pray very much."
Mary told the children that she would speak to each of them separately and gave each a secret before bidding them farewell.
"Goodbye." (to Gilberte Degeimbre)
"I will convert sinners. Goodbye." (to Gilberte Voisin)
"Goodbye." (to Albert Voisin)
"I am the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven. Pray always, Goodbye." (to Andree Degeimbre)
Mary appeared later and spoke to Fernande Voisin asking her if she loved her Son and herself; when Fernande replied that she did, the response was: "Then sacrifice yourself for me." "Goodbye."
On September 19, 1846, the Blessed Mother appeared to two young herders, Melanie Mathieu and Maximin Giraud in the mountains in the Parish of La Salette. The Blessed Mother told the children that if the people did not repent, she would be compelled to let go of her Son's hand which was just about ready to deal punishment on the world for the loss of piety and blasphemy. The Blessed Mother underscored the people's failure to observe the holiness of Sundays and for their blasphemy.
“If my people will not obey”, she said, I shall be compelled to loose my Son's arm. It is so heavy, so pressing that I can no longer restrain it. How long have I suffered for you! If my Son is not to cast you off, I am obliged to entreat Him without ceasing. But you take no least heed of that. No matter how well you pray in future, no matter how well you act, you will never be able to make up to me what I have endured in your behalf.
I have appointed you six days for working. The seventh I have reserved for myself. And no one will give it to me. This it is that causes the weight of my Son's arm to be so crushing.
The cart drivers cannot swear without bringing in my Son's name. These are the two things that make my Son's arms so burdensome.”
In 1635, the Blessed Mother appeared to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in Quito, Ecuador. During these apparitions, the Blessed Mother underscored the importance of monasteries and convents saying that 'in them can be found the remedy for all physical and moral evils...”; the importance of the Sacrament of Penance - “x x x it is the only sure means of salvation after one had lost his baptismal innocence.” She lamented how people, especially the ministers of Jesus Christ, have come to regard the Sacrament with indifference and ignore this precious and valuable treasure. The Blessed Mother prophesied that in the 19th and 20th century, the devil would rule almost completely because of the Masonic Sect, helped by unfaithful religious who in the guise of virtue and unspirited zeal would mislead people; the faithful would esteem Extreme Unction less and less and thus many would die without its consolations and graces; the Sacrament of Matrimony would be attacked and profaned in the fullest sense of the word; there will be a decrease in vocations as the effects of secular education increased; the Sacrament of Holy Orders would be oppressed, ridiculed, and despised; many of the priest would be corrupted thereby scandalizing the Christians and non-Christians alike; there would be unbridled luxury that would conquer innumerable souls; innocence among children could hardly be found, nor modesty in women. Her other prophecies included the Proclamation of the Dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility, respectively (both of which were fulfilled hundreds of years later); the consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the assassination of a truly Catholic President, Gabriel Garcia Moreno. Click here for more.
The Blessed Mother appeared to Bruno Cornacchiola and his three children in a cave in Tre Fontane in the afternoon of April 12, 1947. She introduced herself to Bruno as the “Virgin of the Revelation”. She talked to him for an hour and twenty minutes.
Prior to this date, Bruno Cornacchiola was a, should we say, fallen away Catholic, who harbored a hatred for the Catholic Church, especially the Pope. He hated the Pope so much that he planned to assassinate him. For this purpose, Bruno bought a dagger in Spain while he was still serving the Nationalist side during the Spanish Civil war. He had caused the inscription of the words “Death to the Pope” on the dagger.
During the apparition, the Blessed Mother told him “I am she who is related to the Divine Trinity. I am the Virgin of Revelation. You have persecuted me, now is the time to stop! X x x The nine Fridays in honor of the Sacred Heart, which your faithful wife persuaded you to observe before you walked down the road of lies, has saved you.”
Needless to say, Bruno experienced an immediate conversion.
The cult of the Virgin of Revelation has been approved and the prayer to the Virgin of Revelation has been given the imprimatur by the Vicariate in Rome. However, no definitive judgment, either positive or negative, has been made regarding this apparition.
Peace of soul comes to those with the right kind of anxiety about attaining perfect happiness, which is God. A soul has anxiety because it final and eternal state is not yet decided, it is still and always at the crossroads of life. This fundamental anxiety cannot be cured by a surrender to passions and instincts; the basic cause of our anxiety is a restlessness within time that comes because we are made for eternity.
If there were anywhere on earth a resting place other than God, we may be very sure that the human soul in its long history would have found it before this. ~ Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen