Mary the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions

By COGwriter

Pretty much everyone has heard of a Jewish woman named Mary.

She is mentioned prominently in the Gospel accounts. She is also mentioned in the Book of Acts.

Some believe that she can assist their salvation. Some believe that she has appeared to people in apparitions since her death (here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy; here is a link to a video sermon Why Learn About Fatima?).

This article will discuss Mary from a biblical perspective, go into some of the history about people getting involved with Mariology, provide quotes from some concerning the apparitions, and try to explain the role of Mary and the apparitions that claim to be Mary. Is veneration of Mary, "Mary Worship"?

Might their be future apparitions claiming to be Mary? What might they mean?

Mary and the Hebrew Scriptures

Mary was prophesied in the Old Testament:

14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14, NKJV throughout except when noted differently).

Her time in Bethlehem was also indirectly prophesied in the Old Testament:

2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting (Micah 5:2).

Four Dogmas of Mary?

However, while Mary was prophesied, not much specifically about her or later titles was.

We in the real Church of God, similar to the Catholics of Rome and the Orthodox, do teach the Virgin Birth of Jesus and that Mary is the mother of Jesus and that Jesus is God.

However, we do not accept later innovations such as the "Mother of God" title per se, perpetual virginity, immaculate conception, or the corporal assumption. Thus, we do not believe that the female apparition known as "the Lady of Lourdes," France who reportedly stated in 1858, “I am the Immaculate Conception!” (Hebert AJ.  Prophecies, the Chastisement, and Purification.  Nihil Obstat Robert Ripp, Eugene J. Driscoll.  H. Albert, Paulina (Louisiana), 1986, p. 29) could possibly have been Mary of the Bible as this also contradicted scripture (cf. Romans 3:23). For documentation on where those "dogmas" came from and why they are innovations (and pretty much all of them at one time or the other were opposed by some Catholic saints and/or scholars), please see the article Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From? Catholics of Rome celebrate a festival on December 8th related to one of the dogmas, for details please check out Feast of the Immaculate Conception?

For even more information on the dogmas and other related teachings, please check out the book Fatima Shock! (In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.)

Luke Wrote Much about Mary

Much of what we know about Mary was written by Luke in the Gospel bearing his name (plus he mentions her in the Book of Acts).

Notice what Luke was inspired to write:

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." 34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible." 38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:26-38).

Now this was a bold act of faith on the virgin Mary's part. It was absolutely unacceptable in Jewish society at that time to have a baby out of wedlock. The shame and ridicule would tend to be permanent (and she may have been subject to ridicule for it over 30 years after Jesus' birth, cf. John 8:41). Mary knew this may be her fate, yet she agreed. The situation then was severe enough that her fiance, Joseph, probably would have gotten rid of her except that God intervened and had an angel tell him not to (Matthew 1:18-24). Her life could have been subject to permanent ruin from her youth.

Yet, she joyfully agreed.

In Luke's account, he immediately continued with:

39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord."

46 And Mary said:

"My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
54 He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever."

56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house (Luke 1:39-56).

Mary not only was willing, she was joyous for the opportunity to serve God in that manner.

Luke also recorded:

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 "Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:4-20).

So Mary also noticed that Jesus was special at an early stage.

Luke listed Mary's genealogy in the next chapter--information on that is in the article Why Does Jesus Have Two Different Genealogies listed in Matthew 1 and Luke 3?

Jesus Did Not Exalt His Mother

One area that many who excessively honor Mary fail to realize is that they are not following Jesus' example on this. While He honored His mother and obeyed His human parents (Luke 2:51), on at least two occasions He made it clear that she was not to be overly honored.

Notice what happened when a woman wanted to highly praise His mother:

27 And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck.

28 But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it. (Luke 11:27-28, Rheims New Testament)

27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!"

28 But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" (Luke 11:27-28, NKJV)

Essentially, Jesus was saying that being His mother was not as blessed as being one who hears "the word of God and keep it!" Notice that both Catholic and Protestant translations of the passage in Luke bear this out.

When His family came to visit Him once, He made it clear that being a follower of Him was more important:

46 As he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold his mother and his brethren stood without, seeking to speak to him.

47 And one said unto him: Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without, seeking thee.

48 But he answering him that told him, said: Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?

49 And stretching forth his hand towards his disciples, he said: Behold my mother and my brethren.

50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matthew 12:46-50, Rheims New Testament)

46 While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. 47 Then one said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You."

48 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" 49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:46-50, NKJV)

He likely would have added something extra to exalt His mother Mary if that was what God wanted. Yet, He did not. And neither should Christians. Notice that both Catholic and Protestant translations of the passage in Matthew bear this out. God's will was NOT to exalt Mary to the levels that many do today.

Jesus Gave John Charge to Take Care of Mary

While Jesus was dying, Mary watched and then Jesus told the Apostle John (called "that disciple" below) to take care of her:

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" 27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home (John 19:25-27).

After Jesus was resurrected, showed Himself, and left, Mary was with some of the original apostles:

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers (Acts 1:12-14).

Notice that calling her "Mary the mother of Jesus" appears to be the proper biblically sanctioned title. The Bible uses no greater title for Mary than that (although it does call Mary"blessed", the Bible uses that descriptive term for many others).

Now, prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, John left and went to Ephesus. It is believed that he took Mary with him. Others say that she died prior in Jerusalem or perhaps went elsewhere. Catholics have various traditions on where Mary ended her existence on earth.  One is based upon spurious and falsely titled documents that Mary died and was buried in Jerusalem--and she may have, though stories such as the Transitus Mariae are apocryphal.  Although there was a 9th century document indicating that Mary went to Ephesus with the Apostle John, this tended to be ignored for centuries.  However, this changed somewhat in the 19th century after Nun Anne Catherine Emmerich claimed to have a vision of Mary's final house in the area of Ephesus.  Because of her visions, one or more priests went to Ephesus and found a house apparently matching her descriptions (Shoemaker S. The Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary’s Dormition and Assumption.  Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 75).

There is a rebuilt structure in Ephesus that is supposed to be the house that Mary lived in until she died. My wife and I have visited it. According to various traditions, Mary was a believer until she died in Ephesus many decades after the visit from Gabriel (you can access photos of what is claimed to have been the site of Mary's last house at Photos of Ephesus). She is still honored to this day by the local Muslim residents--Mary holds a special place in Islam.

Mary Died and the Dead Should not be Consulted

Most Catholics accept the fact that Mary died. There are disputes on whether she died in Ephesus or Judea, but generally speaking her death is not in dispute.

Notice some statements from the Bible related to the dead:

10 Neither let there be found among you any one that…consulteth soothsayers, or observeth dreams and omens, neither let there be any wizard, 11 Nor charmer, nor any one that consulteth pythonic spirits, or fortune tellers, or that seeketh the truth from the dead.  12 For the Lord abhorreth all these things, and for these abominations he will destroy them at thy coming (Deuteronomy 18:10-12, DRB).

10 There shall not be found among you anyone…who practices witchcraft…11 or one who conjures spells…or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord…( Deuteronomy 18:10-12, NKJV)

5...the dead know not any thing (Ecclesiastes 9:5, KJV)

5...the dead know nothing whatever (Ecclesiastes 9:5, NJB)

Yet, many claim to speak to/consult with Mary in violation of sacred scripture.

Mary Worship? Mary Was Not Originally Adored

Although there appears to be a painting in the second century that may show Mary (and she was NOT venerated in it), both the Catholics of Rome and those in the Church of God agree that Mary was not originally adored.

Roman Catholic Church:

Antidicomarianites
An Eastern sect which...was so designated as being the "opponents of Mary"... This doctrine...was afterwards modified so as to teach that, although Our Lord was born of Mary through the Holy Ghost, afterwards Joseph and Mary lived in wedlock and had many other children. The sect denied the formula "ever-Virgin Mary" used in the Greek and Roman Liturgies. The earliest reference to this sect appears in Tertullian, and the doctrines taught by them are expressly mentioned by Origen (Homilia in Lucam, III, 940). Certain Arians, Eudocius and Eunomius, were great supporters of the teaching. (Shipman AJ. Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter. Antidicomarianites. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Devotion to Our Blessed Lady in its ultimate analysis must be regarded as a practical application of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Seeing that this doctrine is not contained, at least explicitly in the earlier forms of the Apostles' Creed, there is perhaps no ground for surprise if we do not meet with any clear traces of the cultus of the Blessed Virgin in the first Christian centuries. The earliest unmistakable examples of the "worship" -- we use the word of course in the relative sense -- of the saints is connected with the veneration paid to the martyrs who gave their lives for the Faith...Further, it is quite likely that the mention of the Blessed Virgin in the intercessions of the diptychs of the liturgy goes back to the days before the Council of Nicaea, but we have no definite evidence upon the point, and the same must be said of any form of direct invocation, even for purposes of private devotion (Herbert Thurston. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV. Published 1912. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

So, certain Catholic scholars admit that there is NO evidence of Marian adoration prior to the 4th century (which is when the Council of Nicea was), but they suspect that it may have existed. Thus, it was NOT documented as a part of the original faith or earliest traditions. This is a MAJOR CHANGE, then, as Marian adoration is a big deal within what now calls itself "Catholic."

Yet, In the late fourth century, the Catholic Bishop Epiphanius warned that some were worshipping Mary and were causing ”excess awe of the saint” (Epiphanius. Section VII, pp. 618-629)--he thus seemed to clearly condemn what is now referred to by Catholics as veneration of Mary.

And in the fifth century, another Bishop complained that “If Mary is called the Mother of God, she will be made into a goddess…”  (Chapman, John. "Nestorius and Nestorianism." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 4 Aug. 2011 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10755a.htm>).

Scholar Jesse Hurlbut observed:

About 405 A.D. images of saints and martyrs began to appear in the churches, adored, worshiped.   The adoration of the Virgin Mary was substituted for the worship of Venus and Diana (Hurlbut, JL. The Story of the Christian Church. Zondervan, 1967, p.62).

So, Marian worship/veneration was not originally part of the Catholic faith, but was a later innovation that some with ties to that faith denounced. Bowing down before images of Mary is a form of idolatry, much Marian veneration is essentially the same as Marian worship.

It is clear that early professors of Christ did not practice anything close to modern "veneration of Mary."

Perhaps it should be pointed out that since the first resurrection has not yet occurred (Revelation 20:5) that we in real Church of God do not believe that it is possible for Mary (or anyone who died other than Jesus) to hear anyone's prayers. Since the Bible teaches that other than Jesus (Hebrews 4:15), "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23), those of us in the Church of God cannot accept that Mary was without sin.

Furthermore, since the Bible shows that Eve was the mother of all humans (Genesis 3:20), we do not accept that Mary could properly have that title. However, the fact that Mary was blessed is biblical sanctioned, but so were others in the Bible.

It may be important to realize that the ancient Romans had a 3 day festival for the goddess Diana. On the third day, August 15, they celebrated her assumption into heaven as the queen of heaven. This is the same day of the Catholic feast of the assumption of Mary. Some do not consider this to be coincidental (Green CMC. Roman religion and the cult of Diana at Aricia, Volume 0, Issues 521-85150. Cambridge University Press, 2007, p. 62).

For more details about the August 15 holiday for Mary, please see the news item Assumption of Mary or Diana?

Perhaps it should be mentioned that there does not seem to be any proof that the Romans held feasts to Mary before the seventh century, though a certain reverence was clear by the fifth century.

For even more information on Mary and Catholic teachings, please check out the book Fatima Shock!

History, the Bible, and the "Queen of Heaven"

It may be of interest to note that Europe is named after Europa, who also has had titles such as Astarte, Ishtar, and the "Queen of Heaven":

According to Greek mythology the chief Greek god Zeus fell in love with the human daughter of the Phoenician king, named Europa; in the shape of a white bull he abducted her, and had three sons through her. In order to 'make up' for his behavior, she was honored by naming a continent after her: Europa. This 'love' affair, though illegal, is 'covenantal behavior.' And giving names to territories is also 'covenantal behavior'. Zeus can be identified as Satan (Rev. 2:13). Has he tried, by establishing a false covenantal relationship with this continent, to have a 'legal' claim on this continent?...As mentioned, Europa was a Phoenician princess. In Syria she was equated with Astarte, an adaptation of the demonic principality named in the bible as the queen of heaven. She is also known as Ishtar. One of Ishtar's sacred symbols was the bull. At Knossos the queen-priestess represented the 'mother goddess,' the queen of heaven. Bulls were sacred; bull-games had a very important...Europe bore him three sons, one of whom was Minos. Then Europe married Asterios, the king of Crete (Bos, Helene. EUROPE, WHAT'S IN THE NAME? February 2004. http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache:ercf9u3roXgJ:www.joelnews.nl/NameofEurope.doc+europa+consolation+continent+named&hl=en&i.e.=UTF-8 4/8/04).

The flag of the European Union actually has what are supposed to be stars from heaven to honor Mary (a photo of the flag and more information is in the article on Europa).

Who, according to the Catholics of Rome is the queen of heaven?

Mary, of course. There is even a praise song with the expression:

Ave regina caelorum (Hail, Queen of Heaven). It is one of the four Antiphons of the Blessed Virgin sung in the Divine Office in turn throughout the year (Ave Regina. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907).

Interestingly, there was even a Catholic order founded in 1889 called The Daughters of the Queen of Heaven (Queen's Daughters. The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1914). Hence, this queen of heaven has official daughters (there are many unofficial ones {the other churches that descended from Rome} as well).

One or more apparitions some have claimed to be Mary declared have herself as the Queen of Heaven. Here is one:

Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin at Beauraing (1932-1933) "I am the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven..."(Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, p. 214).

Pope Pius XII declared this about Mary as well:

...the Catholic Church...whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis, has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother's solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen...

Majestic and Heavenly Maid, Lady, Queen, protect and keep me under your wing...Benedict XIV declared the same thing in his Apostolic Letter Gloriosae Dominae, in which Mary is called "Queen of heaven and earth," and it is stated that the sovereign King has in some way communicated to her his ruling power...

Furthermore, the Latin Church sings that sweet and ancient prayer called the "Hail, Holy Queen" and the lovely antiphons "Hail, Queen of the Heavens," "O Queen of Heaven, Rejoice," and those others which we are accustomed to recite on feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary...

Likewise, for many centuries past Christians have been accustomed to meditate upon the ruling power of Mary which embraces heaven and earth, when they consider the fifth glorious mystery of the rosary which can be called the mystical crown of the heavenly Queen...Whoever, therefore, reverences the Queen of heaven and earth--and let no one consider himself exempt from this tribute of a grateful and loving soul--let him invoke the most effective of Queens, the Mediatrix of peace...(Pope Pius XII. Ad Caeli Reginam. Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary Promulgated October 11, 1954).

Perhaps I should add that the rosary is not mentioned in the Bible but was added because of a "private Catholic prophecy" to the Catholic church over 1000 years after it was founded (Dupont, Yves. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p.9).

The Bible itself warns about worship of the 'queen of heaven'. Here are all the verses in the Bible that use the expression "queen of heaven":

18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. 19 Do they provoke Me to anger?" says the LORD. "Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces?" 20 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, My anger and My fury will be poured out on this place--on man and on beast, on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground. And it will burn and not be quenched." (Jeremiah 7:18-20)

15 Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods, with all the women who stood by, a great multitude, and all the people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying: 16 "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you! 17 But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. 18 But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine." 19 The women also said, "And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her without our husbands' permission?"

20 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people--the men, the women, and all the people who had given him that answer--saying: 21 "The incense that you burned in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and did it not come into His mind? 22 So the LORD could no longer bear it, because of the evil of your doings and because of the abominations which you committed. Therefore your land is a desolation, an astonishment, a curse, and without an inhabitant, as it is this day. 23 Because you have burned incense and because you have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD or walked in His law, in His statutes or in His testimonies, therefore this calamity has happened to you, as at this day." (Jer 44:15-23)

Notice that God considered that practices honoring the "queen of heaven" were an abomination.

There is no verse in the Bible that indicates that a woman is to be venerated because she has the title "queen of heaven". Furthermore, the Bible never gives that title to Mary.

Apparitions Claiming to Be Mary

Although we in the real Church of God believe that Mary, like all others who have lived and died, is awaiting the resurrection from the dead, many Catholics believe she lives and intercedes for them.

Perhaps the first one who claimed to be Christian that also claimed to see a female apparition was the heretic/apostate Marcus. Here is some of what Irenaeus reported about him:

This Marcus then, declaring that he alone was the matrix and receptacle of the Sige of Colorbasus, inasmuch as he was only-begotten, has brought to the birth in some such way as follows that which was committed to him of the defective Euthymesis. He declares that the infinitely exalted Tetrad descended upon him from the invisible and indescribable places in the form of a woman (for the world could not have borne it coming in its male form), and expounded to him alone its own nature, and the origin of all things, which it had never before revealed to any one either of gods or men. Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book I, Chapter XIV, Verse 1. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885.

But it is not clear that Marcus claimed it was 'Mary,' but he apparently did claim that a female apparition was involved for his doctrines.

Although there have reportedly been thousands of apparitions that people felt or that themselves claimed to be Mary of the Bible, it is interesting to note that this was not part of the experience of the early Christians:

There is no recorded literature about apparitions for the early centuries of the Church. The first attestations of Marian apparitions are from the fourth century. For example, Gregory of Nyssa, who lived in the fourth century, recorded that Gregory the Wonder worker (213-270 A.D.) was the first beneficiary of a Marian apparition. (Apparitions of the Past: A Statistical Study. The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio. http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/resources/aprgraph.html viewed 12/23/10)

Gregory...was believed to have been gifted with a power of working miracles, which he was constantly exercising…the demons were subject to him…he could cast his cloak over a man, and cause his death…he could bring the presiding demons back to their shrine (Roberts A, Donaldson J.  Ante-Nicene Christian Library. Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. Edited by Alexander Roberts, and James Donaldson. Volume 20: The Works of Gregory Thaumaturgus, Dionysius of Alexandria, and Archelaus. Syriac documents attribute.  Originally 1871, modern printing by Elibron.com, 2006, p. 3).

This is interesting as it was in the third century that the history of the faithful Christians became much harder to track and a Greco-Roman confederation began to emerge, partially based on a mystic (cf. Isaiah 47:5-6,12). But it also shows that Marian apparitions were not part of the early apostolic faith, and that the first one was seen by someone who seemed murderous.

There are relatively few accounts of people seeing apparitions they thought were Mary (or receiving oral messages called locutions from a spiritual source) before the 1100s. Then they seem to have increased.

Catholic believers (including various ones considered as saints) such as Anastasia Logacheva (1809-1875, also known as Athanasia), Christina Markyate (c. 1096-c. 1160), Angela of Foligno (c. 1260-1309), Margaret of Donauwörth (c. 1291-1350), Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), Birgitta of Uppland (1303-1373), and Sister Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) have all claimed to have received messages which they believed were from Mary (Fanning S. Mystics of the Christian Tradition. Routeldge, New York. 2001, reprinted 2006, pp. 55-56,84,87-89,108-109,128-130,132-134). Some of these people were believed to have been visited by demons and/or became rigid (ibid). Sergius, a Russian Orthodox saint, also claimed to have seen a Marian figure who gave one or more messages (ibid, p. 47).

With some of the apparitions, various prophetic statements have been uttered. Since we in the Continuing Church of God contend that Mary is dead and awaiting the resurrection (What Did Early Christians Understand About the Resurrection?), we do not believe that the apparitions are actually Mary of the Bible, but messengers from elsewhere.

This is not to say that we believe that all the reports of apparitions are made up or are hallucinations. It's just that we do not believe that according to the Bible that it is possible that any of them could truly be Mary, mother of Jesus. Several of the comments reported from the apparitions/messengers suggest a demonic presence as the messengers often make claims that are against those of the Bible (but, since even Satan can quote the Bible, see Matthew 4, the apparitions sometimes make biblically appropriate statements). Christians must walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and believe the word of God above signs and lying wonders that are not in accordance with biblical teachings.

Msgr. Pavao Zanic, the former Bishop of Mostar (which includes Medjugorje), in 1990 wrote:

For even a short description of the falsehoods about Medjugorje we would need 200 pages, but for now all I will give is this short summary…Marina B...brought a priest from Panama to my office in August 1989.  His name: Presbitero Rodriguez Teofilo, pastor of Nuestra Senora de Lourdes...  The priest asked me for the reasons why I do not believe in the "apparitions".  I told him that I have at least 20 reasons not to believe…He asked me to please tell him at least one reason.  I told him about the case of the ex-franciscan priest Ivica Vego.  Due to his disobedience, by an order of the Holy father the Pope, he was thrown out of his franciscan religious order OFM by his General, dispensed from his vows and suspended "a divinis".  He did not obey this order and he continued to celebrate Mass, distribute the sacraments and pass the time with his mistress.  It is unpleasant to write about this, yet it is necessary in order to see who Our Lady is speaking of.  According to the diary of Vicka and the statements of the "seers", Our Lady mentioned 13 times that he is innocent and that the bishop is wrong.  When his mistress, sister Leopolda, a nun, became pregnant, both of them left Medjugorje and the religious life and began to live together near Medjugorje where their child was born.  Now they have two children.  His prayerbook is still sold in Medjugorje and beyond in hundreds of thousands of copies. (Zanic P.  The Truth About Medjugorje.  1990.   http://www.newjerusalem.com/bishop-truth.htm  viewed 05/16/2011)

Notice what one allegedly "Marian" message stated in Pfaffenhofen, Germany on April 25, 1946:

Wherever it is taught that I am all-powerful, I will spread peace, for peace will be where all men have faith in my power...I am the sign of the Living God..." (Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, p. 216).

The Bible does not state that Mary is all-powerful, that people should have faith in her power, or that she is the sign of the Living God. But it appears that apparitions claiming to be Mary (or somehow implying that) may ultimately be claimed to be a confirming sign for a power that will emerge in the 21st century that is actually opposed to the true God. And the above apparition is implying that those who do not have faith in her power will not have peace--hence those who hold fast to the Bible will apparently be persecuted by those who have faith in Mary (see also Persecutions by Church and State).

Notice what another messenger allegedly stated to a young girl named Barbara Reiss in Marienfried/Pfaffenhofen, Germany on May 26, 1946:

Have absolute faith in my Immaculate Heart...Some have received my imprint, and there will be many more (Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, p. 216).

Yes, I am the powerful Mediatrix of Grace.  As the world can find mercy only through the sacrifice of the Son with the Father, so can you only find favor with the Son through my intercession.  Christ is unknown because I am not known…it will be I who draw the power of God and the love of the Father {that} will renew the fullness of Christ in you…The devil has power over those that do not trust in My heart. (Culligan E. The Last World War and the End of Time. The book was blessed by Pope Paul VI, 1966. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 162)

So, the messenger is indicating that her “Son” will not be known until she is known.

This seems consistent with an earlier message given through a nun:

Bl. Mary of Agreda (17th century): It was revealed to me that through intercession of the Mother of God all heresies will disappear. The victory over heresies has been reserved by Christ for His Blessed Mother. In the latter days, the Lord will in a special manner spread the renown of His Mother...Mary will extend the reign of Christ over the heathens and the Mohammedans. (Dupont, p. 33)

Notice what another messenger allegedly stated in Pfaffenhofen, Germany on June 25, 1946:

I am the great Mediatrix of Grace. The Father wants the world to recognize His handmaid...My sign is about to appear. God wills it...I cannot reveal my power to the world as yet...Then I will be able to reveal myself...Chose a sign for yourself so that the Trinity may soon be adored by all! Pray and sacrifice through me!...I will impose crosses on my children that will be as heavy and as deep as the sea because I love them in my sacrificed Son. I pray, be prepared to bear the cross in order that the Trinity may be honored (Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, pp. 217-218).

Real Christians would not pray and sacrifice through Mary.

In 1958, Matous Losuta of Czechoslovakia claimed that a "Marian" messenger stated:

All my children will receive and carry the sign of the cross on their foreheads (Flynn, Ted & Flynn, Maureen. Thunder of Justice: The Warning, the Miracle, the Chastisement, the Era of Peace. Signs of the Times Illustrated by Kaleidoscope Graphics Staff Contributor Malachi Martin Published by Maxkol Communications, 1992, p. 331).

But this is not something that the Bible advocates.

In addition to the fact that these apparitions indicate that they need to become more known (hence may be a sign or wonder warned against in the end times cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9), notice the claims about being a "Mediatrix" (the feminine form of the term mediator). But the Bible is clear that there is only one mediator and that this can only be Jesus:

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5, NKJV).

For there is one God, one also mediator of God and men, man Christ JESUS (1 Timothy 2:5, RNT).

Thus any others who claim to be a mediator clearly contradict the Bible (from both the Catholic and Protestant translations) and CANNOT BE OF GOD.

Yet, Pope Leo XIII (as well as other Bishops of Rome) called Mary the Mediatrix and the "co-Redemptress" (another title not hers as only Jesus is our redeemer Titus 2:14; Isaiah 59:20) as well:

The recourse we have to Mary in prayer follows upon the office she continuously fills by the side of the throne of God as Mediatrix of Divine grace; being by worthiness and by merit most acceptable to Him, and, therefore, surpassing in power all the angels and saints in Heaven. Now, this merciful office of hers, perhaps, appears in no other form of prayer so manifestly as it does in the Rosary. For in the Rosary all the part that Mary took as our co-Redemptress comes to us, as it were, set forth, and in such wise as though the facts were even then taking place; and this with much profit to our piety, whether in the contemplation of the succeeding sacred mysteries, or in the prayers which we speak and repeat with the lips (Pope Leo XIII. Iucunda Semper Expectatione On the Rosary. September 8, 1894).

The Catholic Saint Bridget claimed that a "Marian" messenger said the following in the 14th century:

...my Son and I never sinned...(Revelations of St. Bridget. TAN Books, 1984, p. 14)

But the Bible clearly teaches, that other than Jesus (Hebrews 4:15):

22 Even the justice of God, by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe in him: for there is no distinction:

23 For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God.

24 Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:22-24, Douay-Rheims)

Thus, Mary of the Bible would never have claimed that she never sinned.

Also notice what the “Marian” messenger on June 25, 1946 also reportedly stated:

People must believe that I am the permanent Bride of the Holy Ghost, and the faithful Mediatrix of all graces.  My SIGN is already appearing.  God wants it so.  Only my children recognize this sign because it reveals itself in secret…I cannot manifest my power to the world in general.  I must still hold myself aloof…

In secret I will work marvels…Then, I can manifest myself to the world for the glory of the Almighty.  Choose my Sign, so that the Triune God will be adored and honored.(Culligan E. The Last World War and the End of Time. The book was blessed by Pope Paul VI, 1966. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 163)

Of course, Jesus taught that after the resurrection no one is married (Matthew 22;30).  Nor does the Bible hint that the Holy Spirit somehow married Mary or that she is (or could be) a mediatrix of graces.  And since the “Triune God” the apparition referred to is not the biblical one (see Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? and Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning), then the apparition is trying to support the Greco-Roman one instead.

Interestingly, the above messengers both suggested that future ones that many will see are expected. 

This also seems to have been similar to the position of at least one Bishop of Rome:

Pope Pius IX (d. 1878): We expect that the Immaculate Virgin and Mother of God, Mary, through her most powerful intercession, will bring it about that our Holy Mother the Catholic Church, after the removal of obstacles and overcoming all errors, will gain in influence from day to day among all nations and in all places, prosper and rule from ocean to ocean…to the ends of the earth…there will be one fold and one shepherd. (Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p. 50)

If this comes to pass, then the apparitions claiming to be "Mary" (and/or implying this) may be one of the many “signs and lying wonders” (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9) that will help persuade the irreligious Europeans in particular (and the world in general) to support the future King of the North (the Beast, which Catholic prophets seem to call the Great Monarch), who will then help persuade the world to accept a more “ecumenical” form of Catholicism.

A woman who calls herself Mariamante claims that an apparition/locution told her the following on February 22, 1987 (bolding in source):

You will know by the sign in the heavens which is I myself that the time is at hand for the instant conversion of the multitude (Flynn, p. 326).

Hence, the above prophesies a time that an apparition of Mary will be involved in a coming ecumenical religion. If so, this could be one of the "lying wonders" that the Apostle Paul warned about in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12.

Notice what was taught be at least one Catholic saint, though he definitely got the timing off:

Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco also known as "Saint Don Bosco" (1862): There will be chaos in the Church. Tranquility will not return until the Pope succeeds in anchoring the boat of Peter between the Twin Pillars of Eucharist Devotion and devotion to Our Lady. This will come about one year before the end of the century." (Prediction made in 1862 for the end of the 20th century) (Flynn Ted and Mary. The Thunder of Justice. MaxKol Communications, Inc. Sterling (VA), 1993, p. A213).

Hence, Marian devotion seems instrumental to end-time events according to respected Catholics. "Catholic" writings strongly suggest that visions of one claiming to be Mary are extremely likely to be a major unifying factor for the European Beast power and its future allies around the world.

Two Catholic prophetic writers have claimed:

Soon all will call Mary, "Queen"...The Holy Trinity has sent Mary, the Mother of God, Mother of the Church, to warn us. (Flynn Ted and Mary. The Thunder of Justice. MaxKol Communications, Inc. Sterling (VA), 1993, Acknowledgements and p. 4)

Another "Marian" messenger allegedly made the following statement on September 8, 1989:

If my Adversary is signing, with his mark, all his followers, the time has come when I also, your heavenly leader, am signing, with MY heavenly seal, all those who have consecrated themselves to MY Immaculate Heart and have formed part of my army. I am imprinting my seal on your foreheads with the most holy sign of the Cross of my Son Jesus...

I am imprinting upon your hands my seal which is the sign of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. . . Allow yourselves all to be signed on the forehead and on the hand with my motherly seal. (Flynn, pp. 330-331).

A "Brother David Lopez," made the following claims about a message supposedly from Mary in August 1987:

On the 14th of August, 1987, when I was in Medjugorje, I had the privilege of being in the room of the apparitions at the same time that the Holy Virgin was appearing to the visionaries, and the pleasures of delivering to the visionaries the petitions and religious articles that many people sent with me. Despite this privilege, which was great, it was not so important when compared to the revelation that Our Lady gave me later. After the apparition, the visionaries mentioned that the Holy Virgin planned to speak to them in the evening on MT Krizevac. Later that evening, many people joined them in climbing the mountain. I did not go up myself until the 15th at 2:00am with my friend, Fr. Edward Villa...At 6:00pm I saw the visionaries enter the rectory. We began to pray the fourth sorrowful mystery when I lost consciousness; I could not see nor hear anyone. The only thing I can remember is that I felt the presence of the Virgin. I heard Her voice, the sweet voice of a wise and understanding woman who spoke to me in English, but I did not see Her nor do I claim to have seen Her...

Before the great tribulation, there is going to be a sign. We will see in the sky one great red cross on a day of blue sky without clouds. The color red signifies the blood of Jesus who redeemed us and the blood of the martyrs selected by God in the days of darkness. This cross will be seen by everyone: Christians, pagans, atheists, etc., as well as all the prepared ones (understand for prepared ones not only the Christians, because there are people who have never heard the Gospel, but also for those who have the voice of God in the sanctuary of their consciences) who will be guided by God in the way of Christ. They will receive grace to interpret the significance of the cross...

I wrote the message of the Virgin on the 11th of September, (1987) and for almost a month I resisted doing it. I looked for people who would discourage me about giving this message, but nobody did...Two weeks later, I went to the Bishop (Bishop John Joseph Fitzpatrick (now retired, Diocese of Brownsville, Texas) and I showed what I had written with the hope that he would not believe and disapprove, but that didn't happen. He told me, "David, these words are not new. This message is not yours and is not to keep. It is for the whole world, and I am not going to stop you from publishing these words, but be prudent because not everyone wants to accept nor understand. Certainly, there is no doctrinal, spiritual, nor moral error". (Lopez D. Three Days of Darkness: The Great Chastisement. Translated in English from Spanish by by Irma Barretto, and Patricia Jersin, both of Redondo Beach, California. http://www.propheties.it/3days/dark.htm viewed 12/24/08).

It should be noted that that I read that Bishop Fitzpatrick did not give his official endorsement to this message (he also died on July 15, 2006 so I cannot contact him to verify this account). But if there is a red cross that will appear in the sky, that certainly would encourage people to accept a cross in places where the cross is not now venerated.

Notice another rather bizarre claim made by the apparition of Tre Fontance (1947):

I am she who is in the Divine Trinity; I am the Virgin of Revelation (Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, p. 220).

I would think that even trinitarians would have trouble accepting the above statement. But, again, in the end time, many will probably accept a lot of strange statements from what the Bible refers to as "lying wonders" (2 Thessalonians 2:7-9).

Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy.

There have been many false prophets proclaiming 'Mary.' To determine who a true prophet would be, please see the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God.

Isaiah 47 Warns about a "Virgin, Lady of the Kingdoms"

The Bible warns of a “virgin” that uses enchantments who is also called the Lady of Kingdoms:

1 Come down, sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne for the daughter of the Chaldeans, for thou shalt no more be called delicate and tender …4 Our redeemer, the Lord of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel. 5 Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called the lady of kingdoms. 6 I was angry with my people, I have polluted my inheritance, and have given them into thy bend: thou hast shown no mercy to them: upon the ancient thou hast laid thy yoke exceeding heavy.

7 And thou hast said: I shall be a lady forever: thou hast not laid these things to thy heart, neither hast thou remembered thy latter end.

8 And now hear these things, thou that art delicate, and dwellest confidently, that sayest in thy heart: I am, and there is none else besides me: I shall not sit as a widow, and I shall not know barrenness.

9 These two things shall come upon thee suddenly in one day, barrenness and widowhood. All things are come upon thee, because of the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great hardness of thy enchanters. 10 And thou best trusted in thy wickedness, and hast said: There is none that seeth me. Thy wisdom, and thy knowledge, this hath deceived thee. And thou best said in thy heart: I am, and besides me there is no other. 11 Evil shall come upon thee, and then shalt not know the rising thereof: and calamity shall fall violently upon thee, which thou canst not keep off: misery shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. 12 Stand now with thy enchanters, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, in which thou hast laboured from thy youth, if so be it may profit thee any thing, or if thou mayst become stronger. 13 Thou hast failed in the multitude or thy counsels: let now the astrologers stand and save thee, they that gazed at the stars, and counted the months, that from them they might tell the things that shall come to thee. (Isaiah 47:1, 4-7, 11-13, DRB)

Interestingly, the second of the seven wonders of the ancient world has been called, “Babylon the Great, the Lady of the Kingdoms, the glory of the whole earth“ (and the fourth wonder was called the temple of Diana of the Ephesians). The Bible also seems to connect the Lady’s haughty comments in verses 7 & 8 with those of the harlot of Revelation 17:1, 18; 18:7-8, 11 and the city in Zephaniah 2:15.

Some may be surprised to see this, but this immoral “Lady” also seems to have the title of “queen” and “harlot”:

7 You thought, ‘I shall be a queen forever.’ 8 …’I am the only one who matters. I shall never be widowed, never know bereavement.’ 9 Yet both these things will befall you, suddenly, in one day. Bereavement and widowhood will suddenly befall you (Isaiah 47:7, 8b, 9 NJB)

4 Because of the multitude of harlotries of the seductive harlot, The mistress of sorceries, Who sells nations through her harlotries, And families through her sorceries. (Nahum 3:4, NKJV)

5 Look, I am against you!- declares Yahweh Sabaoth- I shall lift your skirts as high as your face and show your nakedness to the nations, your shame to the kingdoms. (Nahum 3:5, NJB)

3 All the nations have drunk deep of the wine of her prostitution; every king on the earth has prostituted himself with her, and every merchant grown rich through her debauchery. (Revelation 18:3, NJB)

17:1 … Come, I will shew thee the condemnation of the great harlot, who sitteth upon many waters… 18:7 As much as she hath glorified herself, and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her; because she saith in her heart: I sit a queen, and am no widow; and sorrow I shall not see. 8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be burnt with the fire; because God is strong, who shall judge her. (Revelation 17:1b, 18:7-8, DRB)

So, understand that what will happen to the queen/Lady of the Kingdoms as well as to Babylon is warned against in Revelation. Yet, various Catholics have claimed that Mary is the "Queen of heaven" and "Lady of the kingdoms."

However, neither the Bible nor the apostles referred to Mary as any type of queen, nor as the "Lady of the kingdoms."  Sacred scripture clearly warns against doing anything, such as making cakes, to honor one known as “the queen of heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18-19; 44:17-25) and certainly condemns one called the "Lady of the kingdoms." Some information is also in a video sermon Why Learn About Fatima?

The late Herbert Armstrong wrote the following related to Isaiah 47:

Bur WHO is the Power that will lay this YOKE of slavery upon, Britain and America? We begin to find this answer in the 47th chapter of Isaiah. Notice!

"Come down, and sit in the dust, 0 virgin daughter of Babylon," is the salutation of this chapter, verse 1. It is addressed, not to the ancient Babylon of King Nebuchadnezzar. It is addressed to a descendant, or successor, of the ancient Chaldean Empire. It is addressed to a WOMAN. And in prophetic symbol the term "woman" represents a CHURCH (Eph. 5:23, 27, 32; II Cor. ll: 1-2; Rev. 19:6-9; Rev. 12:13-17, etc.). This "lady of Kingdoms" of Isaiah 47 is the same CHURCH pictured in Revelation 17 and 18. But let's understand as we go along "... there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate." (Verse 1).

This "lady" is no longer a virgin! She is a prostitute. She is to LOSE her throne over political kingdoms. Notice her moral and spiritual fall: "Thy nakedness shall be uncovered , yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance ... " (verse 3 ).

God Almighty Himself is going to take vengeance on her. This can result only from spirirual harlotry, which is sin.

Continue: "Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shall no more be called The Lady of Kingdoms." (Verse 5 ) . The Moffatt translation is more plain: "Sit thou silent in the dark." Light represents TRUTH. Darkness represents error and SIN. She is a fallen woman. She has reigned over KINGDOMS of NATIONS. But, from the time of the conclusion of this prophecy, she shall no longer be called "The Lady of Kingdoms"- that is, the CHURCH that had a kingdom over the political civil kingdoms...

God will give the House of Israel of today-Britain and America-into the hand of this "Lady of Kingdoms." She, through the armies and secret police of the nations she shall sit upon and rule, will very heavily lay HER YOKE of slavery, torture, and martyrdom on our peoples! (Armstrong HW. BRITAIN'S DOOM Prophesied for Common Market Seeking Membership! Plain Truth, July 1962)

For even more information on Isaiah 47 as well as Fatima and other apparitions, please check out the book Fatima Shock!

Orthodox Warning that "Mary" May Lead People to Antichrist

Since many in Islam have a special reverence for Mary, I suspect that if one or more apparitions claiming (or presumed) to be Mary show up in Islamic lands, that many there will be temporarily persuaded to support the Beast power (the Catholic prophesied "Great Monarch")--especially if Muslims can be temporarily persuaded to accept a cross symbol (which would otherwise be quite difficult for them to do).

Apparently, others have felt the same way.

The following was written over a decade ago by a member of the Orthodox Church and is warning people that false apparitions claiming to be Mary will lead to people to Antichrist:

"Mother goddesses" known in the ancient world were not just confined to the Near East and Mediterranean but are universal. The Kogi Indians, among whom we lived in Columbia, worship a spirit called Nabuba, the "Ancient Mother." When Roman Catholics missionaries attempted to evangelize the Kogi int he last century, they used a not-uncommon strategy for drawing pagan peoples into Rome's fold: rather than explaining the differences between the pagan mysthology and Christian truth, they found "equivalences," Christ, under this syncretistic view, corresponds to the Kogi Sejukukui (a trickster god who faked his own death by hiding in a cave), while Nabuba is said to be the Virgin Mary. This confusion has led the Kogis to call their pagan temples "cansamaria," a corruption of "casa de Maria" (house of Mary).

Given these Roman Catholic "evangelistic methods" of more than a century ago, it is it any wonder that contemporary "apparitions" of Mary are invariably accompanied by ecumenistic messages promoting the idea that all religions are equally valid and Orthodox Christianity is but one "path" among many? A recent issue of Orthodox Tradition (1966) contains the account of Matushka (wife of a Russian Orthodox priest) Katherine Swanson's trip to Medjugorje, Croatia, to investigate the most famous of the recent cases of apparitions of Mary in the Roman Catholic world. In it she recounts a telling episode:

Our guide took our group for an audience with the "seers." During this audience, a pilgrim asked one of the children the following questions: "Does the Virgin say that the Catholic Church is the true church?" The response given by the child provides clear evidence of the ecumenical content and religious relativism which, oddly enough, increasingly mark the "revelations" at Medjugorje: "Our Blessed Mother says that all religions are equally pleasing to God."

The Life magazine article, then, is yet another contribution to this line of thought. Given the idea that all paths are equally valid, then all "Marys" are equally valid, too. The author describes several of the Marys of our times: Miearculous Mary (such as at Medjugorje), Mediator Mary (Who, as the author quotes Fr. Andrew Greeley saying, lets people into Heaven through the "back door"), (Editors notes: the Orthodox Church of course never taught about the "back door", and of course one only prays that this is a matter of a figure of speech, but let us not dwell on the "back door", but the gates of Paradise, the Kingdom of our God). Mediator Mary of the feminists, and Mother Mary. This last one, Mother Mary, is the role which the author considers the most appealing to non-Catholics: "The emotional need for her is so irresistible to a troubled world that people without an obvious link to the Virgin are being drawn to her. It is known that Muslins revere Mary as a pure and holy saint...Interdenominational Marian prayer groups are springing up throughout the world. Many Protestants, even some who still reject notions of a supernatural Virgin, miss Mary."

To which Mary are Muslims and Protestants being drawn? The Protestant Reformation rejected the distorted view of Mary which had developed in the West since the Schism of 1054, and which would ultimately result in the Roman Church's proclamation of their dogma of the Immaculate Conception. But Protestantism did not just reject the Western view of Mary; it ignored Her altogether, in effect denying Her role in the Incarnation and, consequently, the part She plays in our salvation. As Rome began to see her more and more as a "goddess," a fourth Hypostasis of the Trinity, as it were, the Protestants reacted by down playing Her position and refusing to honor Her at all, this in spite of the Gospel words:"All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed."

Today, as heterodox Christians become more and more ecumenist and work toward creating a "One World Church," the search has begun for a Mary of universal recognition, one who will appeal not only to those who bear the name Christian, but apparently to Muslims and others as well, just as attempts are likewise being made to identify the "new Christ" with the Muslim concept of their coming Mahdi and with the Messiah still awaited by the Jews. This, of course, will be no Christ at all but the antichrist.

(Jackson P. ORTHODOX LIFE., No. I, 1997., Brotherhood of Saint Job of Pochaev at Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, N.Y. pp. 18-22.  http://fr-d-serfes.org/orthodox/theotokos.htm viewed 05/11/09)

Notice what Bishop Kennedy of the Celtic Orthodox Church wrote:

The great deceiver of Fatima promises salvation to those who embrace devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary… We can be very certain that God did not send Mary to earth to change God's eternal plan of salvation. It is just this kind of deceit that leads to other false statements about Mary; Mediatrix of all graces etc. The devil's deceit is felt far and wide within the Church as is evidenced in the number of well meaning but deceived souls proclaiming Mary is Mediatrix of all graces. How would have such a statement sounded to the Apostles? This salvation we enjoy is from God in Christ; “The man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as ransom for all". (1 Timothy 2:1, 3-6 NAB)… We should STOP THE DEVIL in his tracks and proclaim the vision of Fatima to be a fraud, a work of the devil and an abomination to God, Mary and to the Church. (Kennedy BJ, Bishop. The Fatima Affair. HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH / MONASTERY. Toledo, Ohio. http:// www.celticorthodoxchurch.com/fatima.html viewed 05/17/12 )

In the 21st century, various Catholics hope that Marian apparitions, etc. will be factors that will lead to ecumenical unity, sometimes preceded by what is called 'inter-religious dialogue':

"Mother Mary is revered with great devotion by the Indian community as a mother and a spiritual figure of maternal protection," said Friar Jayaseellan Pitchaimuthu OFM, head of the Indian Chaplaincy in Holy Land. She is acknowledged as the "protector and patroness" of the Indian Chaplaincy in Holy Land because she is a "model" for the migrants, he told CNA.

The friar explained that the Marian feast day is particularly important in the Indian context because of its relation to other faiths.

Members of other religions, including Hindus and Muslims, "regard Marian devotions in esteem," he said. Thousands of devotees "both Catholics and non-Catholics" flock every week to the Marian apparition site at Velankanni, near Chennai in South India, and other shines that have recorded various miracles, he said. In this way, the friar explained, "Marian devotion also leads to a platform for inter-religious dialogue." (Gonzales AA. Indian migrants in Holy Land prepare for Marian feast. (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/indian-migrants-in-holy-land-prepare-for-marian-feast)

This is dangerous!

The Apostle Paul warned that even someone appeared as an angel from heaven, if that representative tried to change the gospel, he/she should not be listened to, but should be cursed:

8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. (Galatians 1:8, Douay-Rheims)

Many Marian apparitions have preached a gospel different than what the Apostle Paul and other real Christians taught, and putting Mary as one to turn to for salvation is also a false gospel.

The reality is that it is likely that false apparitions, claiming to be "Mary" may be among the signs and lying wonders that the Bible warns are coming (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12).

For even more information on Mary and Catholic teachings on the rise of an anti-pope/Anti-Christ, please check out the book Fatima Shock!

Might a False "Mary" be the Image of the Beast?

Though many items such as a crucifix, cross, political system, etc. may be the prophesied "image of the Beast" (Revelation 13:15), it has been suggested that it might have to do with images of Mary.

First, let's start with a Catholic writing:

Ven. Magdalene Porzat (19th century): Mary comes from heaven…After this Mary, all powerful shall change all men…Holy women, images of Mary, shall have power to work miracles.  After them comes Mary to prepare the way for her Son in His triumphant Church. (Culleton, R. Gerald. The Prophets and Our Times. Nihil Obstat: L. Arvin. Imprimatur: Philip G. Scher, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, November 15, 1941. Reprint 1974, TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 203)

Notice the following, written in the 1800s:

St. Paul says, "The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God." The God of the Papists, the female divinity, whom they slanderously designate the Virgin Mary, is a monster of cruelty ; to her honor they profess to do all their evil deeds. A dreadful machine, employed by the Inquisition in Spain, is denominated " The Virgin Mary." One was seen by Colonel Lehmanowsky in 1809. It was also common in Germany, as appears from a work entitled "The Kiss of the Virgin." It has been seen at Vienna and Nuremburg, and consists of an iron image of the Virgin, which pierces with two small knives its victim's eyes, and stabs him in the body with several others while it hugs him in its embrace. " And they worshipped the beast." Pope John XXII., called expressly " Our Lord God the Pope," issued a bull asserting that "God has confided the empire of the earth, as well as that of heaven, to the sovereign pontiff."...

Babylon is threatened with sudden destruction for the multitude of her sorceries,—seeing that " by her sorceries were all nations deceived."...

14. " And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live." Statues and paintings of the virgin are now multiplying in every part of the continent. The character and miracles ascribed to her, present, indeed, the very image of the beast, as sanctioning under the guise of Divine authority, folly the most contemptible, and vice the most ferocious.

15. "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." This verse has received a variety of explanations. We refer it to the Virgin, without hesitation, inasmuch as at her deification by the decree of December 8, 1854, she may be profanely said to have had Divine life conferred on her by the will of the Pope. ("England". An original interpretation of the Apocalypse, 2nd edition. J.F. Shaw, 1857. Original from Oxford University. Digitized, Aug 15, 2006, pp. 104, 121-123)

Notice also the following from the 1800s:

"Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast;" and they made it. Now, here is the important fact to be observed, that this never was done, and this never could have been done, till eight years ago: for this plain reason, that till then the Madonna of Rome was never recognised as combining all the characters that belonged to the Babylonian " Image of the beast." Till then it was not admitted, even in Rome, though this evil leaven had been long working, and that strongly, that Mary was truly immaculate, and consequently she could not be the perfect counterpart of the Babylonian Image. What, however, had never been done before, was done in December 1854. Then bishops from all parts of Christendom, and representatives from the ends of the earth, met in Rome; and with only four dissentient voices, it was decreed that Mary, the mother of God, who died, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, should thenceforth be worshipped as the Immaculate Virgin, "conceived and born without sin." This was the formal setting up of the Image of the beast, and that by the general consent of "the men that dwelt upon the earth." Now, this beast being set up, it is said, that the beast from the earth gives life and speech to the Image, implying, first, that it has neither life nor voice in itself; but that, nevertheless, through means of the beast from the earth, it is to have both life and voice, and to be an effective agent of the Papal clergy, who will make it speak exactly as they please. Now, since the Image has been set up, its voice has been everywhere heard throughout the Papacy. Formerly decrees ran less or more in the name of Christ. Now all things are pre-eminently done in the name of the Immaculate Virgin. Her voice is everywhere heard—her voice is supreme. (Hislop A. The Two Babylons)

Now, I am not saying that I agree with all of the logic of these sources. But I do agree that it is possible that some image allegedly of Mary could possibly fulfill the prophecy of the "image of the Beast" as there have been stories of statues of Mary having tears, bleeding, etc.

Speaking of statues and other representations of Mary, perhaps it should be pointed out:

No picture has preserved for us the true likeness of Mary. (Maas, Anthony. "The Blessed Virgin Mary." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 29 Aug. 2011 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15464b.htm>)

So, the Mary statues that people have are not based on what Mary actually looked like. Also, it should be noted that even the apparitions that people claimed to be Mary often do not look like each other according to Catholic sources (such as Priest John Lozano, see quote in Woodward KL.  Making saints: how the Catholic Church determines who becomes a saint, who doesn't, and why.  Simon and Schuster, 1996, p. 178).

Although the originator probably had a different intention in his comments, notice what the following Catholic private prophecy states:

Bernadine Von Busto (died 1490): Satan...will cause a voice to come from the crucifix...Also the pictures of the Mother of God at times will speak when someone will be praying before them: `Cease your supplications. I am not the Mother of God. I have no power with God. I am only a miserable creature...' It will be the same with the pictures of the Saints. That it is the devil who speaks from the crucifixes and pictures…(Culleton, The Reign of Antichrist, pp. 141-142)

I wonder if Satan may admit to this type of thing around the time of the fulfillment of Revelation 17:16-17.

Mary, "The Lady of Fatima," and Rome

On May 13, 1917 an apparition allegedly appeared before three children in Fatima. It said to come back on the 13th of the month for the next six months and to repeat the rosary every day (Flynn, p. 135). Where is Fatima? It is a small town in Portugal about an hour and a half drive north of Lisbon (Lisboa).

In Fatima, the "Lady" seen was immodestly dressed, though few now realize that:

The parish priest’s interviews with the visionaries were made into a report.  This was their first interview by the Church and it can be read in the book, Os Mouros Fatimidas e as Aparicoes de Fatima...The extraordinary thing about the first version of the first vision is that the children said that the Virgin wore a skirt down to her knees and wore white socks unlike the Virgin had ever done before.  She wore a necklace with a medal on it...her eyes were black which must mean she had eyes like an alien.  This description prompted some to insist that the Lady was really the daughter of Muhammad, Fatima, and not the Virgin Mary.  Later the Church manipulated the children to say that the Virgin looked the way she is depicted in holy pictures with long dresses.  The short skirt was considered immodest. (Fraud at Fatima. http://www.miraclesceptic.com/fatimafraud.html 04/26/11)

In 1917, the parish priest, Manuel Marques Ferreira, interviewed the children, a reported their description of the Lady that appeared:

The clothing was a white mantle, which fell from the head to below the skirt, which was golden from the waist to below the [two] strings, which crossed above and below at the hem. The skirt was all white and gold…[and] fell only to the knees; the coat was white…no shoes, but white socks with no gold; about the neck there was a gold chain with a pointed medallion. (Interrotagórios de Artur de Oliveria Santos, Doc. 53, Documentação Critica de Fátima I. Fátima Sanctuary, 1992, p. 375 as cited and translated in Fernandes J, D’Armada F.  Celestial Secrets, The Hidden History of the Fátima Incident.  Anamolist Books, San Antonio (Texas), 2006, p. 152)

The children were also interviewed by the Catholic priest Canon Manuel Nunes Formigão, whose report stated:

Jacinta confirms that Our Lady’s dress fell only to the knees… Our Lady obviously could not have appeared other than dressed with the utmost decency and modesty...{This} constitutes a serious problem, opposing the very validity of the Apparition, giving rise in the spirit to the dread that this whole affair is a mystification, prepared by the Prince of Darkness. (Fernandes, p. 153; also Santo ME. Os Mouros Fatimidas e as Aparições de Fátima.  Assírio & Alvim, 2006, pp. 271-218)

So at least two priests reported that at least two children claimed that what appeared in Fatima had a short skirt. A skirt that was culturally immodest and improper for 1917 Portugal (looked a lot more like the goddess Diana as Mary would have have appeared that way). So, while Fatima is not a normal hoax, it certainly should be considered as a scam as there is no way that Jesus' mother would have appeared that way (cf. 1 Timothy 2:9). (Those who wish to see the Fatima statue as well as what the children described that they actually saw can view them at: Pope Francis to ‘consecrate’ world to the ‘immaculate heart of Mary’.)

On July 13, 1917 (other accounts say this was June 13, 1917) this apparition allegedly gave three messages (and other statements) as part of a "secret" to the same children. The first two were later disclosed publicly, by the oldest child:

On August 31, 1941, Sister Lucia wrote,..."The Secret is composed of three distinct matters and I shall disclose two of them" (Flynn, pp. 140-141).

The first "secret" was that "the Lady of Fatima" claimed that World War I was going to end, but unless there was significant repentance, that a greater war (WWII) would begin during the reign of Pope Pius. The pope was not then named Pius, but the next two were and reigned from 1922-1939 and 1939-1958 respectively (Cited in Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p. 126). But it is of interest to note that these secrets were not released until after many events took place.

The apparition included the following claim as part of the first "secret" in July 13, 1917:

...the souls of poor sinners...To save them God wants to establish throughout the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people will do what I tell you, many souls will be saved...(Flynn, Ted & Flynn, Maureen, p. 136).

Now believers of the Bible should be shocked by the above as there is nothing in the Bible that hints that the above could possibly be true. People are saved only through Jesus (Acts 4:12). "Nor is there salvation in any other" (Acts 4:12; 16:30-31), including "the Lady of Fatima". Hence, the Fatima apparition should not be considered as sent by God as at least that part of the message contradicts scripture (even if parts of what were claimed did come to pass).

The second "secret" according to one the children (Lucia) was apparently the rise of Russian communism and other events which have come to pass--they were also told about an annihilation of nations which is for the future (Connor, pp. 13-16; Dupont, p. 81). The two younger children were prophesied to die early (they did), but the oldest was to live longer (she did).

And there was also a prophecy that suggested that "the Lady of Fatima" would help turn the Russians Catholic in the end times:

Apparition in Fatima (20th century): But in the end my Immaculate Heart shall triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, she will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be in the world (Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p. 14).

More on Russia (including apparitions) can be found in the article Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future.

But there was a third message that was kept secret. While Lucia (the oldest of the three children who claimed to see the original female apparition at Fatima) wanted it to be made public in the 1960s, the Vatican refused at that time.

Some believe that Pope John Paul II decided to make more of these prophecies pubic as he believed that an assassination attempt on his own life was foretold by the Fatima apparition:

During the Sunday Angelus he presided over this morning, Pope Benedict recalled today the apparitions in Fatima and the prophecy uttered by the “Lady of White Light” to the shepherds: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” He recalled as well the miraculous saving of his predecessor John Paul II by “the intervention of a maternal hand.”

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the assassination attempt against Pope Wojtyla, in which the “Servant of God, John Paul II, felt he had been miraculously saved from death by the intervention of ‘a maternal hand’, as he himself used to say. His entire pontificate was marked by what the Virgin pronounced at Fatima”.

Only yesterday, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was welcomed in St Peter’s Square by tens of thousands of believers, and a plaque was unveiled in the square on the exact spot where the attempt to take the life of the Polish Pope took place.

Benedict XVI recalled that the message the Virgin entrusted in Fatima, “was a strong call to prayer and conversion. It was a truly prophetic message considering that the XX century was ravaged by unheard-of destruction caused by wars and totalitarian regimes, as well as long drawn out persecution against the Church”. (Benedict XVI recalls miraculous saving of Pope John Paul II in assassination attempt. Catholic News Agency. May 15, 2006. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=6719 01/27/07).

The Vatican has claimed that the following is the complete text of the "third secret" of Fatima that Lucia wrote down in 1944 (I saw the original text in what has claimed to be her own writing at a Vatican website, which of course was in Portuguese). According to Cardinal Ratzinger (who became Pope Benedict XVI), "we come finally to the third part of the “secret” of Fatima which for the first time is being published in its entirety":

"J.M.J.

The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.

I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.

"After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: 'something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White 'we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

Tuy 3-1-1944."

(Source: Joseph Card. Ratzinger Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. THE MESSAGE OF FATIMA. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html)

Some claim that the full story of Fatima was not revealed (or at least not understood) as it pointed to the rise of an Antipope:

Father O'Connor quotes from Holy Scripture, the stunning prophecies of St. Vincent Ferrer, Pope St. Pius X, St. Francis of Assisi, St. John Eudes, Sr. Lucy of Fatima, Pope Pius XII and Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. Father explains how God will and is punishing the world for sin, and that the Fathers of the Church all wrote that the False Prophet would be a Catholic Bishop who will become an invalid anti-pope while the real Pope dies a cruel death in exile. http://www.catholictreasures.com/cartdescrip/20104.html 10/12/07

Twice now Kathleen Keating has been interviewed on Art Bell. Recently deceased Father Malachi Martin was a guest on Art Bell numerous occasions. Ms. Keating revealed that she had spoken with Malachi Martin and shared the same information during their interviews. BOTH revealed on air that (this is paraphrased) "the Fatima secret was the worst thing you could ever imagine and then go way beyond that"...

Kathleen Keating, author of "The Final Warning" http://www.finalwarningthebook.com/ was Art's guest, I think on February 20th and again on April 12th of this year. Her interviews were riveting as were Malachi Martin's. Both of these people, especially Kathleen, were up front that the famed secret stated the next Pope will be the False Prophet or the AntiPope as Catholics refer to him (Did The Vatican Reveal The FULL Fatima Prophecy? From Stan and Holly Deyo http://www.millennium-ark.net 5-14-00. http://www.rense.com/general/fullfatima.htm 10/10/07).

Malachi Martin, in his last interview on the Art Bell Show, spoke of an Anti-Pope. There was a caller calling in from Australia, and he said that a Jesuit had revealed to him that in the Third Secret it is revealed that there will be, as it were, a pope who was entirely in the control of the devil. Malachi answered, "that sounds like the verbatim words of the Secret." (The Imminent Chastisement for Not Fulfilling Our Lady’s Request given at the Ambassadors of Jesus and Mary Seminar in Glendale, California, September 24, 2004 by Priest Paul Kramer, B.Ph., S.T.B., M.Div., S.T.L. (Cand.) http://www.fatima.org/crusader/cr80/cr80pg32.asp 10/10/07).

It should be noted that according to the Keating interview, the false prophet would be the current pontiff--but in one of her writings that I have seen, she indicates that it would be the next pontiff. I do not believe that the current pontiff will be the false prophet, but it is remotely possible.

On October 13, 1917, the Fatima apparition again allegedly appeared and caused various signs that tens of thousands claimed to witness (Flynn, pp. 137-138).

While I personally do not accept that Mary herself appeared in Fatima (the short skirt rules that out, plus the fact that "the Lady of Fatima" never claimed to be Mary, mother of Jesus), I do not doubt that some apparition appeared. And, I believe that the final pope will betray the Catholic faith and have a lot of demon-influence, and hence could be considered as an antipope--but I base this upon a variety of scriptures, however, and not any apparition possibly claiming to be "the Lady of the Rosary".

Some believe that the following messenger, which appeared on October 13, 1973 to "Sister Agnes Sasagawa at Akita, Japan", gave a message that was related to the message of Fatima:

As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity...The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops...the Church will be full of those that accept compromises...Pray very much the prayers of the rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which will approach. Those who place their confidence in me shall be saved (Flynn, p. 148).

And again, while I do not believe that it is possible that Mary, the mother of Jesus, provided that message, the truth is that some of what is contained in some of the messages allegedly from the apparitions will come to pass.

It probably should be noted that according to some (who apparently do not accept Cardinal Ratzinger's 2000 statements and/or interpretations as complete), "we now know through the message of Our Lady of the Roses is the heart of the Third Secret and the tragic consequences of our grave omission: namely, that satan himself would enter into the highest realms of the hierarchy in Rome in 1972" (http://www.smwa.org/Documents/Bayside_and_Fatima/Document_Heart_of_Third_Secret.htm) and ""...The Third Secret, My child, is that satan would enter into My Son's Church." - Our Lady, May 13, 1978" (http://www.tldm.org/directives/d130.htm).

Here is what one website claims:

St. Theresa's revelation at Bayside, New York:

Jacinta of Fatima told Mother Godinho the REAL Third Secret, but...

"Satan, Lucifer in human form, entered into Rome in the year 1972. He cut off the rule, the role of the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI. Lucifer has controlled Rome and continues this control now.
"And I tell you now, My children, unless you pray and make My counsel known to all of the ruling fathers of the Eternal City of Rome, My Son's Church, His House, will be forced into the catacombs. A great struggle lies ahead for mankind. The eventual outcome is for good of all, for this trial in My Son's Church will be a true proving ground for all the faithful. Many latter-day saints shall rise out of the tribulation."
- Our Lady of the Roses, September 7, 1978 (http://www.tldm.org/news/StTheresa3rdSecret.htm)

Note that "Mother Godinho" is sometimes claimed to be the "godmother" of Jacinta (she was not technically, though her charges called her that per Madigan, L. The children of Fatima: Blessed Francisco & Blessed Jacinta Marto; illustrated edition. Our Sunday Visitor, 2003, pp. 253-254). Jacinta lived with her a while until "Mother Godinho/Madrinha" was 43 years old. Jacinta was one of the three children at Fatima. The other two were her brother Francisco Marto and her cousin Lúcia Santos. "Mother Godinho" was one of the last people to see Jacinta alive.

Allegedly, "Mother Godinho" sent the following in a letter to Pope Pius XII in 1954:

I am the godmother of Jacinta Marto, the seer of Fatima, who made me privy to the following secret, which I have kept religiously for many years, but now as I feel death approaching, I wish to communicate it to Your Holiness. Under oath I guarantee that what I say expresses purely and simply what I heard from her, and which forms my secret. Here is the essential part. “Mother, tell the Holy Father that the world is troubled and Our Lady can no longer hold back the arm of Her beloved Son, Who is very offended by the sins committed in the world. If, however, the world decides to do penance, She would come to its aid again, but if not, chastisement would infallibly fall upon it, for its lack of obedience to the Holy Father.”

Jacinta then asked me to tell the Holy Father and His Excellency, the Bishop of Leiria, that the house I occupy at Fatima ought to be called, “the House of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima”, and that the sisters of this order, after their approval, were to take the name of  “Claretian Sisters of Mother Mary da Costa,” and that they would keep united to the Vatican to prepare for the year 1972, because the sins of impurity, vanity, and excessive luxury would bring great chastisements to the world, which would cause great suffering to the Holy Father. “Poor Holy Father!” she would say. (Mother Maria of the Purification Godinho to Pope Pius XII, April 25, 1954. http://www.tldm.org/news/godinho.htm viewed 03/27/10)

Whether or not the Fatima apparition said anything like that (or if Lucia was aware of any of this) it is not clear. It should be noted that many private "Catholic" prophecies teach that changes and one or more "antipopes" are expected in Rome (see article on Catholic prophecies). 

Notice, also, the following from 1972:

Pope Paul VI spoke on June 29 at St. Peter's Basilica and said: "By means of some fissure, the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God…(Ligourian, Volume 60, 1972, p. 70)

Because of the above statement (which one Catholic writer stated was NOT related to Fatima), some believe that this confirmed that the third message of Fatima had to do with sin/Satan entering/taking over the Church of Rome beginning in 1972. Notice also the following:

Vatican Chief Exorcist Priest Gabriele Amorth said:  “he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as “cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon“. He added: “When one speaks of ‘the smoke of Satan’ [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the holy rooms, it is all true – including these latest stories of violence and paedophilia.””  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7056689.ece

Both biblical and Catholic prophecy tell of a coming ecumenical religious leader (who sounds like an antipope) that will not really believe in his faith.  Such leaders are already in the Vatican if people such as Priest Amorth can be believed (see also Vatican’s Chief Exorcist Claims the Devil is in the Vatican).

Because of reports like this mentioning 1972, some Catholics believe that the previous pope and current pontiff have not been truly faithful to the Church of Rome. I, however, believed that the emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has been committed to the Roman Catholic faith as he understands it--but if certain Catholic private prophecies are correct--the Pope Francis could an antipope/antichrist (see The Malachy Prophecies and "Peter the Roman"), and that is biblically possible (Francis also is very Marian focused, see Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?).

However, the previous pope has made some statements about Fatima that seem to be possibly contradictory.

Here is some of what then Pope Benedict XVI said about it in May 2010:

…Our Lady of Fatima. Dearly beloved brothers and sisters, I too have come as a pilgrim to Fatima, to this “home” from which Mary chose to speak to us in modern times. I have come to Fatima to rejoice in Mary’s presence and maternal protection. I have come to Fatima, because today the pilgrim Church, willed by her Son as the instrument of evangelization and the sacrament of salvation, converges upon this place. I have come to Fatima to pray, in union with Mary and so many pilgrims, for our human family, afflicted as it is by various ills and sufferings. Finally, I have come to Fatima with the same sentiments as those of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta, and the Servant of God Lúcia, in order to entrust to Our Lady the intimate confession that “I love” Jesus, that the Church and priests “love” him and desire to keep their gaze fixed upon him as this Year for Priests comes to its end, and in order to entrust to Mary’s maternal protection priests, consecrated men and women, missionaries and all those who by their good works make the House of God a place of welcome and charitable outreach…We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete…(Pope Benedict XVI’s Homily on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  Vatican Radio, May 13, 2010. http://www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=392469)

Speaking aboard the papal plane on the way to Portugal, Pope Benedict XVI said the message of Fatima shows that attacks on the Pope and the Church also come from sins inside the Church. These internal attacks are seen in “a really terrifying way” in sexual abuse, he remarked while calling for penance and purification.

He made his comments to reporters while traveling to Portugal, the site of a 1917 Marian apparition near the town of Fatima. He was asked if the Fatima apparition’s predictions of times of trial for the Church could be applied to the sexual abuse crisis.

In the message of Fatima, Pope Benedict answered, we can discover that attacks on the Pope and the Church “come not only from the outside, but the suffering of the Church comes from inside the Church, from sins that exist inside the Church.”

“This we have always known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way. The biggest weight on the Church doesn’t come from the enemies outside but is born from sin inside the Church.

“And so the Church has a profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn on the one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice. And forgiveness does not substitute justice,” he said.  (Pope: Fatima Message Shows Catholic Church Attacked By Internal Sins.  Eurasia Review, May 11, 2010. http://www.eurasiareview.com/2010/05/pope-fatima-message-shows-catholic.html).

The Pontiff’s later position does not seem to be exactly the same as he wrote about it in the year 2000, which was prior to becoming pope:

A careful reading of the text of the so-called third “secret” of Fatima, published here in its entirety long after the fact and by decision of the Holy Father, will probably prove disappointing or surprising after all the speculation it has stirred. No great mystery is revealed; nor is the future unveiled. (Ratzinger Joseph, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Fatima: Theological Commentary.  2000. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html)

Has he changed his views as this seems to contradict what he said in May 2010? Or has he seen other reports beyond the public letter that led him to make the new statements? I suspect the latter.

The reality is that there are many private Catholic prophecies/writings that suggest that an antipope will arise and betray the Catholic Church.  This is also consistent with biblical prophecy about the betrayal of a city that resembles Rome by the final Beast power (Revelation 17:15-16). Perhaps Pope Benedict XVI was coming to the point of public acceptance of that position.

But, he officially has taught that none need to believe it as Catholic News Service reported on May 24, 2012, "Pope Benedict XVI has reaffirmed that the church never requires the faithful to believe in apparitions, not even those recognized by the church" (Vatican publishes rules for verifying Marian apparitions. Catholic News Service, http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1202151.htm viewed 6/21/12).

Now, the Pope Francis on the other hand is very Marian, so much so he dedicated his pontificate to Mary and consecrated to Fatima:

In his first outing from the Vatican, Pope Francis went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major to pray before the image of the patroness of Rome…

Cardinal Abril y Castelló:… he told me he wanted to visit Saint Mary Major. I told him I was delighted, of course, and that I would accompany him if he so wished. He answered, “Yes, of course.”

So we accompanied him. Cardinal Agostino Vallini also came. There was no one was in the Basilica for security reasons. It was a lovely moment of prayer to the Virgin, after offering her the bouquet of flowers. He stayed a while praying in silence. Then we all sang the Salve Regina.

Yesterday he said to me specifically, I want to go to pray to the Virgin to entrust my whole pontificate to her, so that she will bless it and help me.  http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/welcoming-the-pope-to-mary-s-house

On May 13, on the 96th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, the bishops of Portugal will perform a solemn act of consecration requested by our Holy Father. Within days of his election, Pope Francis himself asked Cardinal Policarpo of Lisbon to consecrate his papacy to Our Lady of Fatima. His Eminence asked the bishops to participate. Now, for the first time in history, a Pope is placing his pontificate under the protection of Our Lady of Fatima!     

What does this mean? It means we have a Pope who realizes the crucial role of the Message of Fatima for the Church today! (The Pope Is Consecrating His Papacy to Our Lady of Fatima; Now Is the Time to Rally Around Our Holy Father. Fatima Center. Our Lady’s News Release: May 8, 2013)

It means danger for the Church of Rome and others! (See also Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?)

Unlike, Benedict XVI, Pope Francis may not be as dedicated to Roman Catholicism as one might think (see Is Pope Francis Catholic?). He regularly speaks of 'Mary' and the most Marian pontiff of all in recent history (Massive crowds meet Pope Francis at Marion shrine in Brazil and he speaks of ‘Mary’ and Pope Francis again goes to Mary Major!).

Furthermore, Pope Francis called for the Fatima chapel statue (which DOES NOT resemble what the three shepherd children described that they saw in Fatima in 1917) to be brought to Rome for a ceremony scheduled on October 13, 2013. He dedicated the world to the "immaculate heart of Mary" and "Lady of Fatima" then (see Francis consecrated world to the ‘immaculate heart’ of an alleged ‘Fatima’ statue).

Is it possible, that this pontiff who has made at least three trips to the Church of Mary Major will be involved in fulfilling the following?

A.C. Emmerich (August 25, 1820): I do not know in what manner I was taken to Rome last night, but I found myself near the Church of St. Mary Major, and I saw who were greatly distressed and worried because the Pope was to be seen nowhere...Then I saw an apparition of the Mother of God, and she said that the tribulation would be very great. She added that these people needed to pray fervently...she said that if only one priest could offer the bloodless sacrifice worthily and with the same dispositions as the Apostles, he could avert all the disasters (that are to come). To my knowledge the people in the church did not see the apparition (Connor, pp. 64-65).

The Pope's consecration could be consistent with that bloodless sacrifice, as the Pope is also considered to be a priest. Certain "Fatimists" believe that if Pope Francis specifies Russia as the object of consecration that this will essentially bring about circumstances that will lead to world peace and prosperity. If Pope Francis does that watch out as that is not truly what the Bible teaches (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:3)!

For even more information on Fatima, please check out the book Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. For more information on Pope Francis, please check out the book The Last Pope Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis?

Rome was Getting Concerned About the Multitude of Marian Apparition Reports

With an increased world population, improved communication, and the easier ability to become a temporary celebrity in the 21st century, it is not surprising that the amount of claimed Marian apparitions seems to be on the rise.

This has (rightly in my opinion) concerned some in the Vatican, as the following report shows:

Pope orders bishops to root out false claims of visions

The Pope has ordered thorough investigations to be carried out into people who claim they have seen visions of the Virgin Mary. Telegraph, London - Jan 13, 2009

The Pope plans to publish criteria to help his bishops distinguish between true and false claims of visions of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, messages, stigmata, weeping and bleeding statues and Eucharistic miracles.

He is hoping to cut down on an explosion in the number of bogus heavenly apparitions with new guidelines to help his bishops to root out frauds.

Benedict XVI plans to publish criteria to help them to distinguish between true and false claims of visions of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, messages, stigmata, weeping and bleeding statues and Eucharistic miracles.

In some cases exorcists will be used to determine if a credible apparition is of divine origin or whether it is demonic.

The guidelines will come in a “vademecum”, or handbook, which is in its final stages and will be published soon by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

It sets out step-by-step instructions on how Church authorities should deal with claims of such supernatural phenomena.

The Pope is said to be deeply concerned by the explosion in the number of pseudo-mystics who, claiming a direct line to God, set themselves against the bishops and lure the Catholic faithful out of the Church and into disobedient cults.

When a claim of heavenly apparitions occurs, the local bishop will need to set up a commission of psychiatrists, psychologists, theologians and priests who will investigate the claims systematically.

The first step will be to impose silence on the alleged visionaries and if they refuse to obey then this will be taken as a sign that their claims are false.

The visionaries will next be visited by psychiatrists, either atheists or Catholics, to certify their mental health and to verify whether they are suffering from conditions of a hysterical or hallucinatory character or from delusions of leadership.

The third step will be to investigate the person’s level of education and to determine if they have had access to material that could be used to falsely support their claims.

The new document will also instruct the bishops to see if the visionaries and their associates stand to gain financially from making their claims.

The content of any heavenly messages will also be scrutinised to see if it is harmony with the teachings of the Church.

If the visionary is considered credible they will ultimately be questioned by one or more demonologists and exorcists to exclude the possibility that Satan is hiding behind the apparitions in order to deceive the faithful.

The Pope decided to act because instances of private revelations continue to multiply, with new cases reported around the world every year. (Caldwell S. Pope orders bishops to root out false claims of visions.  Telegraph, 12 Jan 2009.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/vaticancityandholysee/4223793/Pope-orders-bishops-to-root-out-false-claims-of-visions.html)

Now, that is a good step. But what if errors are made by various demonic apparitions that are accepted? Won't this be dangerous?

And this Vatican policy is wise in the sense that many of the claimed prophecies from the apparitions are in conflict with one another and some have proven to be false. However, let me make this abundantly clear: I believe that their will be Vatican-accepted apparitions claiming/believed to be Mary that will be influential in persuading much of the world to adopt a future, more ecumenical form, of "Catholicism", and I do not believe that God wants His people to be led away by them.

Perhaps, I should also mention that a Catholic saint claimed to see both Limbo and Mary:

A.C. Emmerich (19th century): I heard a voice proceed from Him, which he related to His Mother what He had done in Limbo..Mary...The Blessed Virgin also saw it all in spirit (Emmerich AC. The Life of Lord Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations. Schooner edition, Vol. IV. Nihil Obstat: D. Jaegher, 14 Februari 1914. Imprimatur: A.C. De Schrevel, Brugis, 14 Februari 1914. Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 2004, p. 362).

Yet, since the Vatican no longer believes that there necessarily is a place called Limbo (for details see What is Limbo? Is There Such a Place as Limbo? What Happens to Babies When They Die?), it would seem that the visions of this "saint", including see Mary, should be questioned as well.

And if a" canonized Catholic saint" was wrong about her vision, Catholics should realize then, that they truly do have reasons to doubt other messages that others claim came from Mary.

Weeping Statues and 'Healings'

Despite concerns from former Pope Benedict XVI, weeping, etc. statues of 'Mary' are popular and their popularity may be increasing.

Notice the following report of a ‘weeping’ statue supposedly of Mary:

February 11, 2014

Hundreds of people have flocked to a small town in northern Israel to view a statue of the Virgin Mary that residents say “weeps” oil.

Members of a Christian family from Tarshiha, near the Lebanon border, say they have witnessed a miracle in their living room.

Osama Khoury said Tuesday that his wife Amira found the statue “covered with oil” recently. Amira said the statue “spoke to her” and told her not to be afraid. After a neighbor witnessed the oil, word soon spread.

Parts of the statue appear to be slick with moisture, even after it is wiped off.

The family says it is most striking when a “tear” seems to roll down the statue’s cheek. It says some 2,000 people have come to see the statue over the last week.  http://thesouthern.com/news/world/middle-east/hundreds-flock-to-weeping-mary-statue-in-israel/article_de5067c7-eaa7-5af4-9369-c39c581f86aa.html

The Bible never indicates that Christians should look to statues or to see it any ‘weep.’

Many, within Roman Catholicism as well as some without, consider these ‘weeping’ statues as miraculous proof that Mary is present and approves these statues.

But that is not something that comes from the Bible. Instead, this type of thing comes from paganism.

Notice the following report:

It was in this very character that the Etrurian Tages was known; for it was he who was said to have taught the Romans augury, and all the superstition and wonder-working jugglery connected therewith. As in recent times, we hear of weeping images and winking Madonnas, and innumerable prodigies besides, continually occurring in the Romish Church, in proof of this papal dogma or that, so was it also in the system of Babylon. There is hardly a form of “pious fraud” or saintly imposture practised at this day on the banks of the Tiber, that cannot be proved to have had its counterpart on the banks of the Euphrates, or in the systems that came from it. Has the image of the Virgin been seen to shed tears? Many a tear was shed by the Pagan images. To these tender-hearted idols Lucan alludes, when, speaking of the prodigies that occurred during the civil wars, he says:–

“Tears shed by gods, our country’s patrons,
And sweat from Lares, told the city’s woes.”
Virgil also refers to the same, when he says:–
“The weeping statues did the wars foretell,
And holy sweat from brazen idols fell.”

When in the consulship of Appius Claudius, and Marcus Perpenna, Publius Crassus was slain in a battle with Aristonicus, Apollo’s statue at Cumae shed tears for four days without intermission. The gods had also their merry moods, as well as their weeping fits. If Rome counts it a divine accomplishment for the sacred image of her Madonna to “wink,” it was surely not less becoming in the sacred images of Paganism to relax their features into an occasional grin. That they did so, we have abundant testimony. Psellus tells us that, when the priests put forth their magic powers, “then statues laughed, and lamps were spontaneously enkindled.” When the images made merry, however, they seemed to have inspired other feelings than those of merriment into the breasts of those who beheld them. “The Theurgists,” says Salverte, “caused the appearance of the gods in the air, in the midst of gaseous vapour, disengaged from fire. The Theurgis Maximus undoubtedly made use of a secret analogous to this, when, in the fumes of the incense which he burned before the statue of Hecate, the image was seen to laugh so naturally as to fill the spectators with terror.” There were times, however, when different feelings were inspired. Has the image of the Madonna been made to look benignantly upon a favoured worshipper, and send him home assured that his prayer was heard? So did the statues of the Egyptian Isis. (Hislop A. Two Babylons. 1858. Loizeaux Brothers, Second American edition 1959, p. 257-258)

The weeping statues of old were not Divine miracles.

Notice two reports of glowing statue supposedly of Mary:

March 14, 2014

A ‘glowing’ statue of the Virgin Mary has brought hundreds of pilgrims flocking to a house in a small town in southern Belgium.

Police in Jalhay have been forced to post guards around a pavilion erected by the retired owners of what is being referred to as ‘the mysterious glowing Virgin’.

On one day this week alone 500 people visited the house in the normally quiet town to see the statue, which witnesses claim emits a dull glow in the dark.

But local Catholic authorities, who have sent clergymen to investigate, remain cautious about claiming for definite whether there is a natural or religious explanation for the statue’s luminescence.

The phenomenon was first noticed in the middle of January and has gradually attracted growing crowds.

Local media report that some of those visiting the statue claim to have been cured of ailments. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2580733/Hundreds-flock-sleepy-Belgian-town-glowing-statue-Virgin-Mary.html#ixzz2vwpR0Ehp

Police have been required to bolster their presence around a pavilion erected by the retired Belgian owners of the statue, which witnesses suggest lets out a dull glow after dark.

The phenomenon was first noticed in mid-January and has gradually attracted larger crowds, with local media reporting that some of those visiting the statue claim to have been cured of a skin condition.

The statue, about 30 centimetres (one foot) in height, represents the “Virgin of Banneux”, from the name of a nearby village where in 1933 a young girl was said to have witnessed an appearance by the Virgin.  http://news.yahoo.com/hundreds-belgians-flock-glowing-virgin-mary-statue-171557770.html

The Bible never indicates that Christians should look to statues for healing or to see if any ‘glow.’

What about reported healings?  Here is something else from my book Fatima Shock!:

What About the Healings?

Are claimed healings associated with Fatima proof that the messages were from God?

There are several reasons to consider that they are not proof.

The first is that there have been hundreds of claimed healings   from   those   going   to   discredited   sites   like Medjugorje.   According to Msgr. Pavao Zanic, Bishop of Mostar, the “seers” claimed messages from the “Marian” apparition that were clearly false and the facts he laid out prove this.   Hence it would not be appropriate to ascribe the “healings” there as approved by God.

The second is that many of the original healings claimed at Fatima seemed to be related to properties that the water and/or soil once had.  One study indicated that twenty- nine out of thirty claimed healings at Fatima seemed to be related to the soil and/or water.    In fact, many who claimed that they were “healed” indicated that the water and/or soil were decisive factors in their healing.   It has been speculated that perhaps the water and soil in that area no longer has the same healing properties.   Furthermore, since the area in and around where the Lady appeared five of the six times in 1917 is all under concrete, even if that soil had retained healing properties, direct contact with it is no longer practical.

The third is that many of the “healings” at Fatima appear to be similar to the claimed healings from those who saw various “aliens” or UFOs.  Thus, since Catholics do not normally consider those encounters are from God, then just having a lot of “healings” should not be accepted as absolute proof. (Thiel B.  Fatima Shock!, pp. 142-143)

Of course, Satan can influence people and affect ailments.

The Bible warns of a “virgin” that uses enchantments who is also called the Lady of Kingdoms (Isaiah 47:1, 4-7, 11-13).

Jesus warned that signs and wonders would deceive almost everybody (Matthew 24:24). As we get closer to the end and the formation of an improper ecumenical religion, expect to see more issues with statues that appear to have supernatural properties.  Notice something from the Book of Revelation:

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.  (Revelation 13:11-15)

So, just because a statue seems to be supernaturally influenced, and is even endorsed by one who ‘looks like a lamb,’ this does not mean that this is approved by God.  God’s word repeatedly condemns many things associated with statues as well as various odd wonders.

Muslims & Protestants Need to Be Concerned About the Growing Trend to Get Closer to Catholic Views of Mary

Most Muslims and Protestants, justifiably, are not involved in praying to Mary or considering her to be their redeemer or mediator. Yet, there has been a trend among some Protestants to move towards a view of Mary held by the Catholics; and historically Muslims have tended to pay her memory special reverence (more on Islam and Mary is in the article The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy).

For centuries, there have been Catholic prophets that have uttered predictive statements. Some have come to pass, some have not come to pass, and some are still for the future. But their "prophecies" can be dangerous and do not seem to have been inspired by God.

For one example, while the Bible warns against a coming Beast leader who will work with a False prophet (cf. Revelation 16:13-14), many "Catholic" prophets are looking forward to a time when a Great Monarch (who is described similarly to how the Bible describes the Beast leader also known as the King of the North) and an Angelic Pastor (who is sometimes described similarly to how the Bible describes the False Prophet/Antichrist) will rise up, crush their opponents (in contradiction to early Christian practices against carnal warfare), and turn the world to some form of a religion calling itself Catholic.

Essentially, some Catholics believe that the irreligious in France will turn to Mary and Jesus after there has been unrest and destruction and this will lead to the rise of a leader (who appears to be the one the Bible describes the Beast leader):

The Ecstatic of Tours..."The revolution will spread to every French town. Wholesale slaughter will take place. This revolution will last only a few months but it will be frightful; blood will flow everywhere because the malice of the wicked will reach its highest pitch. Victims will be innumerable. Paris will look like a slaughter-house. Persecutions against the Church will be even greater, but it will not last long...Many bishops and priest will be put to death. The archbishop of Paris will be murdered...At this juncture, the French people will turn back to God and implore the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary Immaculate...

"The French people will ask for the good King, he who was chosen by God. He will come, this saviour whom God has spared for France, this King who is not wanted now because he is dear to God's Heart. He will ascend to the throne; he will free the church and reassert the Pope's rights..." (Dupont, p.37)

Interestingly, of the Catholic prophecies show that their Great Monarch will spread Catholicism all over the world (see the article on King of the North), it perhaps should be mentioned that some indicate that Mary will be involved in insuring his success over non-Catholics:

R. Gerald Culleton (20th century):  During the reign of the Great Monarch and the Angelic Pastor the Catholic Church will spread throughout the world, conversions will be innumerable…The Blessed Virgin will be the chief one in gaining victory over all heresy and schism because of her power over the demons in the last ages of the world will be especially great.  This will be recognized by her enthronement as “Mistress and Queen of Men’s Hearts.” (Culleton, R. Gerald. The Prophets and Our Times. Nihil Obstat: L. Arvin. Imprimatur: Philip G. Scher, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, November 15, 1941. Reprint 1974, TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 50)

Sister Marie Lataste (died 1847): Peace shall return to the world because of the Blessed Virgin Mary will breathe over the storms and quell them...From the east to the west, from the north to the south, all shall proclaim the holy name of Mary (Connor, p. 50).

St. Louis-Marie Grignion De Montfort (18th century): The power of Mary over all the devils will be particularly outstanding in the last period of time. She will extend the Kingdom of Christ over the idolaters and Moslems, and there will come glorious era when Mary is the Ruler and Queen of Hearts.(Dupont, Yves. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p. 33; Connor, p. 45)

St. Louis-Marie Grignion De Montfort (17th century): Mary will shine forth higher than ever in these latter days to bring back poor sinners who have strayed from the family of God (Flynn, Ted & Flynn, Maureen. Thunder of Justice: The Warning, the Miracle, the Chastisement, the Era of Peace. Signs of the Times Illustrated by Kaleidoscope Graphics Staff Contributor Malachi Martin Published by Maxkol Communications, 1992, p. 73).

St. Louis De Montfort (died 1720): The training and education of the great saints, who will appear towards the end of the world, is reserved for the Mother of God...These great saints, full of grace and zeal, will be chosen in order to oppose the enemies of God who will appear everywhere. By their word and example these saints will bring the whole world to a true veneration of Mary (Culleton, The Reign of Antichrist, p. 153).

Notice that this “Mary” also has the power over the demons.  As the Bible never indicates that she has this power, this is apparently a reference to a demonic manifestation/apparition claiming to be Mary. 

The Apostle John warned:

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).

And that is what everyone should do.

Here is another Catholic prophecy:

Anna-Katrina Emmerick (July 12, 1820): I had a vision of the holy Emperor Henry. I saw him at night kneeling alone at the foot of the main altar in a great and beautiful church...and I saw the Blessed Virgin coming down all alone...The wine was as red as blood, and there was also some water. The Mass was short. The Gospel of St. John was not read at the end. When the Mass had ended, Mary came up to Henry (the Emperor), and she extended her right hand towards him, saying that it was in recognition of his purity. Then, she urged him not to falter...(Dupont, Yves. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p. 62)

Catholic writer Yves Dupont (20th century): Henry is the Great Monarch, chosen by God to restore all things to Christ...The Blessed Virgin urges him not to falter. (Dupont, Yves. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p. 62)

The "Great Monarch" is claimed to arise because of the problems in France, and Mary is the one to apparently help the "Great Monarch" make peace happen:

Mary Lataste (d. 1847): When disorder and confusion are at their height in France, the merciful God will intervene...Peace will return to the world because the Blessed Virgin Mary will breathe over the storms and quell them...From the east to the west all shall proclaim the holy name of Mary (Culleton, p. 196).

Perhaps I should add that the Bible states that God's name is Holy (Psalm 111:9), but never indicates this about Mary's name. The east would seem to include Muslims, as well as the Indians and peoples of the Orient.

In 1846 there was an apparition claiming to be Mary in La Salette, France that has been accepted by the Vatican.  Although not all parts of the message have been accepted by the Vatican, it has been claimed that a Catholic priest named Parent wrote the following related to one (Maximin) of the two children (the other was named Melanie) who claimed to see the apparition:

Furthermore, each secret must contain special prophecies of a particular character. So what would be the particular mark of Maximin’s secret? Principally, it would seem to proclaim the triumph of the Church and above all it would seem to designate the political saviour, referred to in so many prophecies by the popular name of the Grand Monarch. (Priest Parent, quoted by Le Hidec. As cited in THE SECRETS OF LA SALETTE. http://www.crc-internet.org/salette3.htm viewed 09/28/08. Note: I have also seen this in French in a book titled Les mystères du sang royal: de Charlemagne à Louis XVII, existe-t-il une survivance by Daniel Leveillard).

Here is part that does not seem to have been fully accepted:

On Sept. 19, 1846, Mary allegedly foretold at La Salette that: "Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist" (APPARITION of the BLESSED VIRGIN on the Mountain of LA SALETTE the 19th of September, 1846. Published by the Shepherdess of La Salette with Imprimatur by Mgr. Bishop of Lecce. It was published at Lecce on the 15th of November 1879 – with the “Imprimatur” of Bishop Zola - and reprinted “ne varietur” at Lyon in 1904).

Here is what another Catholics wrote related to Mary:

Blessed Mary of Agreda (17th century): It was revealed to me that through the intercession of the Mother of God all heresies will disappear.  The victory over heresies had been reserved by Christ for His Blessed Mother.  In the last times, the Lord will in a special manner spread the renown of His Mother:  Mary began salvation, and by her intercession it will be completed.  Before the second coming of Christ, Mary must, more than ever, shine in mercy, might, and grace in order to bring unbelievers into the Catholic Faith.  The power of Mary in the last times over the demons will be very conspicuous. Mary will extend the reign of Christ over the heathen and the Mohammedans…(Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p. 49)

Thus, there is at least one messenger that seems to predict that the followers of Islam will follow be greatly influenced by "the power of Mary in the last times".

It is interesting to note that several things attributed to Mary are the same or similar to those of the Great Monarch.  Thus, perhaps the Great Monarch (or some of his followers) will somehow claim to have seen apparition allegedly of Mary. 

Protestants who are starting to look more towards “Mary,” may, sadly, help fulfill the above.

Notice what some Anglican leaders have done:

Archbishop Williams, leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, said in a homily during a Sept. 24 international Mass at Lourdes that when Mary appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 "she came at first as an anonymous figure, a beautiful lady, a mysterious thing, not yet identified as the Lord's spotless mother. "And Bernadette -- uneducated, uninstructed in doctrine -- leaped with joy, recognizing that here was life, here was healing," he said. "Only bit by bit does Bernadette find the words to let the world know; only bit by bit, we might say, does she discover how to listen to the Lady and echo what she has to tell us." He also praised the lives of the saints, saying that their examples "matter so much." The archbishop later was criticized by the England-based Protestant Truth Society, a group of Anglicans and nonconformists committed to upholding the ideals of the Protestant Reformation...Jeremy Brooks, the group's director of ministry, said: "All true Protestants will be appalled that the archbishop of Canterbury has visited Lourdes and preached there. "Lourdes represents everything about Roman Catholicism that the Protestant Reformation rejected, including apparitions, Mariolatry and the veneration of saints," he said in a Sept. 24 statement. "The archbishop's simple presence there is a wholesale compromise, and his sermon -- which included a reference to Mary as 'the mother of God' -- is a complete denial of Protestant orthodoxy." He added, "At a time when our country is crying out for clear biblical leadership, it is nothing short of tragic that our supposedly Protestant archbishop is behaving as little more than a papal puppet." Archbishop Williams was invited to the sanctuaries, where Mary appeared to St. Bernadette 150 years ago, by Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes. His visit is the first in modern times by an archbishop of Canterbury. Archbishop Williams held talks there with German Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who celebrated the international Mass. Archbishop Williams was joined by an unprecedented pilgrimage of 10 Church of England bishops, some 60 Anglican priests and about 400 Anglican lay worshippers (Anglican archbishop comes under fire for homily at Lourdes CNS - Sept 24, 2008. http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0804863.htm).

Protestants need to understand that by eliminating heresies, Catholic prophecies specifically mean the elimination of Protestantism. And that many Catholics believe that the Great Monarch (with guidance from their Mary apparitions most likely) will cause this to happen. Notice what the following says about this "great ruler":

Father Laurence Ricci, S.J. (died 1775): "After the rule of Napoleon a time will come when the people will become poor and the world will be punished in three ways: wars, famines, and pestilences. At a time when the whole world seems doomed, God will intervene. With His aide a valiant duke will arise from the ancient German house which was humiliated by the French monarch. This great ruler will restore stolen Church property. Protestantism will cease and the Turkish empire will end. This duke will be the most powerful monarch on earth. At a gathering of men noted for piety and wisdom he will, with the aid of the Pope, introduce new rules, and ban the spirit of confusion. Everywhere there will be one fold and one shepherd." (Conner p.37)

Protestantism will to a great degree cease (and may completely do so) during the reign of the Beast power, the King of the North that Catholics refer to as the Great Monarch (but the Continuing Church of God, which is not Protestant, is expected, after first being subject to persecutions, to be protected during this time, see There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra).

Furthermore, notice what one Catholic saint indicated that the followers of the non-biblical Mary will do:

St. Louis-Marie Grignion De Montfort (17th century): I have said that it will come to pass, particularly at the end of the world...These great souls , full of grace and zeal, shall be chosen to match against the enemies...and they shall be singularly devoted to our Blessed Lady, illuminated by her light, strengthened by her nourishment, led by her spirit, supported by her arm and sheltered under her protection, so that they shall fight with one hand and build with the other. With one hand they shall fight, overthrow and crush the heretics, the schismatics...they shall draw the whole world to true devotion to Mary (Flynn, Ted & Flynn, Maureen. Thunder of Justice: The Warning, the Miracle, the Chastisement, the Era of Peace. Signs of the Times Illustrated by Kaleidoscope Graphics Staff Contributor Malachi Martin Published by Maxkol Communications, 1992, p. 372).

Hence, those who get caught up in following the apparition and the non-biblical Mary are, according to at least one Catholic saint, to crush their opponents. This does not sound like Christian love (see also Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare?).

But instead of love, it sounds like those who will be led by "her spirit" will give heed to doctrines of demons (cf. 1 Timothy 4:1). Christians are not supposed to be led by "her spirit", but by the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:16-18).

Notice the following definition about Mariology--from people who promote and believe in it:

Mariology — that aspect of Catholic theology that focuses on Our Lady’s place in the plan of salvation. (Father Karl Stehlin to Speak at “FATIMA: THE PATH TO PEACE!” CONFERENCE. Fatima Center Press Release, August 31, 2013)

Mary is not got the role in salvation that many Catholics falsely assert.

For even more information on how apparitions may affect the future, please check out the book Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions.

Revelation 12 is Not About Mary

Interestingly, even though some within the Roman Church believe that the woman in Revelation 12:1-6 is also Mary, notice that its comments in the Rheims New Testament (the Catholic-accepted translation of the Latin Vulgate into English), Catholic scholars correctly teach that the woman in 12:6 is the church fleeing persecution:

ANNOTATIONS Chapter 12

6. The woman fled. ] This great persecution that the Church shall flee from… And by enlarging the sense, it may also very well signify the desolation and affliction that the Church suffereth and hath suffered from time to time in this wilderness of the world, by all the forerunners and ministers of Antichrist, Tyrants and Heretics (The Original And True Rheims New Testament Of Anno Domini 1582., pp. 556-557)

Another Catholic priest wrote the following:

The woman of chapter 12 is not the Blessed Virgin Mary. The ancient interpreters beginning with Hippolytus and Methodius understood this was a figure of the Church. (Kramer HB. The Book of Destiny.  Nihil Obstat: J.S. Considine, O.P., Censor Deputatus.  Imprimatur: +Joseph M. Mueller, Bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, January 26, 1956.  Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 276)

If the woman was Mary, this would contradict the Catholic position position that Mary gave birth to Jesus without pain as Revelation 12 teaches that pain was involved:

1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. (Revelation 12:1-2, Douay-Rheims).

The Catholic Encyclopedia says this lack of pain situation was “the teaching of some of the principal Fathers and theologians: St. Ambrose [56], St. Gregory of Nyssa [57], St. John Damascene [58], the author of Christus patiens [59], St. Thomas [60], etc.” (Maas AJ. The Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic Encyclopedia)

Here is what the important Catholic saint and theologian Hippolytus taught this about Revelation 12 in the third century, as well as Catholic Bishop Victorinus in the that same century:

61. By the woman then clothed with the sun, he meant most manifestly the Church, endued with the Father's word, whose brightness is above the sun. And by the moon under her feet he referred to her being adorned, like the moon, with heavenly glory. And the words, upon her head a crown of twelve stars, refer to the twelve apostles by whom the Church was founded. And those, "she, being with child, cries, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered," mean that the Church will not cease to bear from her heart the Word that is persecuted by the unbelieving in the world. "And she brought forth," he says, "a man-child, who is to rule all the nations; "by which is meant that the Church, always bringing forth Christ, the perfect man-child of God, who is declared to be God and man, becomes the instructor of all the nations. (Hippolytus on Christ and Antichrist. Translated by J.H. MacMahon. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0516.htm>)

"Victorinus said this is "the ancient church of fathers, and prophets, and saints, and apostles" (Ante-Nicene Fathers, VII, 355) {Source: from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press}.

Those in the Continuing Church of God also believe that the woman in Revelation 12:1-6 is referring to the Church, not Mary.

Concluding Thoughts on Mary

Mary was a faithful Jewish woman who God used to give birth to and help raise Jesus. This was a great honor to be blessed with. Jesus’ mother Mary truly played a vital role in His life. God the Father would not have chosen Mary to carry, give birth, and raise Jesus if He had not considered her to have the character to do so.

Jesus, Himself, treated Mary like a mother, but not like the "mother of heaven" or anything like that. She also became a faithful Christian and like all who have died in the faith, she awaits the resurrection of the dead.

She, however, is not the intercessor between humans and God. She is also not the mediator (called mediatrix in the feminine) as that is Jesus' responsibility alone (1 Timothy 2:5). Since Mary was faithful, she would teach that calling her the Mediatrix or "our co-Redeemer" is blasphemous. She, like the Apostle Peter (Acts 10:25-26), would refuse to people bow down to her.

She has not personally been manifested in apparitions. However, since some demonic powers have claimed to be her, it will be no surprise if more apparitions that claim to be Mary will come on the scene in the future. These apparitions claiming to be Mary may be instrumental in convincing the mainly secular Europe (and elsewhere) to become more Catholic in thought and deed. This, then, may lead to the emergence of a much more united European Beast power that will under the use of force and economic pressure induce people all over the world to accept his false form of religion.

While Mary truly can be called blessed, the apparitions that have claimed/implied (and probably in the future will claim) to be her, simply are not her. And true Christians need to heed the Bible and not traditions or signs/lying wonders that appear otherwise. "Catholic" writings strongly suggest that visions of one claiming to be (the non-biblical) Mary are extremely likely to be a major unifying factor for the European Beast power and its future allies around the world. Pope Francis appears to be setting this up (Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?).

The faithful Mary of the Bible could not be manifested in those apparitions. The faithful Mary of the Bible simply could not say many of the things that the apparitions alleged to be her have stated. Mary would condemn the apparitions if she were alive and most certainly will after she herself is resurrected. The time is coming when many will be deceived by lying wonders. Do not fall for those false-speaking apparitions yourself, even if you see one or more with your own eyes or one or more pontiffs says otherwise. Christians must walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and believe the word of God above signs and lying wonders that are not in accordance with biblical teachings.

For even more information on Fatima and future apparitions, please check out the book Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Those who would like a preview which demostrates what was really seen in Fatima as well as the intitial belief that it was from the devil from Catholic sources may wish to check out a free pdf of the first two chapters of the book Fatima Shock, first two chapters.

Here is a link to a YouTube video: Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy.

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Thiel B., Ph.D. Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions. www.cogwriter.com/Mary-Mother-of-Jesus.htm (c) 2008/2009 /2010/2011/2012/2013/2014 0610