Apparitions of Mary
Definition: Supernatural visitations by a spirit claiming to be the mother of Jesus Christ. These apparitions may be a singular occurrence or may occur over a number of weeks or even years. She may appear to an individual, a small group, or to thousands. The apparition often decrees special benefits to those who will venerate and pray to Mary. The Catholic Church considers apparitions to be special private revelations that do not officially add to the established faith. However, these apparitions have had a major influence on the Marian doctrines of Catholicism, and contribute greatly to Marian devotion. Of the thousands of appearances of this woman, the Catholic Church has validated 10 events.
Discussion: Not only have these apparitions validated the role of Mary in salvation, but they have resulted in many conversions to the Catholic faith. Occurrences like Fatima (where thousands witnessed miraculous movements of the sun) give credence to a demonic aspect to these events (2 Cor. 11:14). The Bible warns of spiritual deception in the last days (1 Tim. 4:1).
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