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 another short one: Fatima and Pope Francis; 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 nor Venerated

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.

Here is something from The Catholic Encyclopedia that confirms that:

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 clear early evidence of Marian adoration by any real Christian.

How did Marian veneration happen?

Well, there were a combination of events and factors that led to what the Church of Rome now has related to 'Mary.'

The first major one seems to have been that the apostate Simon Magus, who the Apostle Peter denounced in Acts 8:18-23 (see also Simon Magus, What Did He Teach?), encouraged adoration of a woman.

Here is what the Catholic saint Justin recorded in the early second century, followed by what the Catholic saint Irenaeus reported later in that century:

Simon . . . And almost all the Samaritans, and a few even of other nations, worship him, and acknowledge him as the first god; and a woman, Helena, who went about with him at that time, and had formerly been a prostitute, they say is the first idea generated by him. (Justin. First Apology, Chapter XXVI. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight)

Now this Simon of Samaria, from whom all sorts of heresies derive their origin, formed his sect out of the following materials: -- Having redeemed from slavery at Tyre, a city of Phoenicia, a certain woman named Helena, he was in the habit of carrying her about with him, declaring that this woman was the first conception of his mind, the mother of all, by whom, in the beginning, he conceived in his mind [the thought] of forming angels and archangels. For this Ennoea leaping forth from him, and comprehending the will of her father, descended to the lower regions [of space], and generated angels and powers, by whom also he declared this word was formed. But after she had produced them, she was detained by them through motives of jealousy, because they were unwilling to be looked upon as the progeny of any other being. As to himself, they had no knowledge of him whatever; but his Ennoea was detained by those powers and angels who had been produced by her. She suffered all kinds of contumely from them, so that she could not return upwards to her father, but was even shut up in a human body, and for ages passed in succession from one female body to another, as from vessel to vessel. She was, for example, in that Helen on whose account the Trojan war was undertaken; for whose sake also Stesichorus was struck blind, because he had cursed her in his verses, but afterwards, repenting and writing what are called palinodes, in which he sang her praise, he was restored to sight. Thus she, passing from body to body, and suffering insults in every one of them, at last became a common prostitute; and she it was that was meant by the lost sheep.

3. For this purpose, then, he had come that he might win her first, and free her from slavery, while he conferred salvation upon men, by making himself known to them. For since the angels ruled the world ill because each one of them coveted the principal power for himself, he had come to amend matters, and had descended, transfigured and assimilated to powers and principalities and angels, so that he might appear among men to be a man, while yet he was not a man; and that thus he was thought to have suffered in Judaea, when he had not suffered. Moreover, the prophets uttered their predictions under the inspiration of those angels who formed the world; for which reason those who place their trust in him and Helena no longer regarded them, but, as being free, live as they please; for men are saved through his grace, and not on account of their own righteous actions. For such deeds are not righteous in the nature of things, but by mere accident, just as those angels who made the world, have thought fit to constitute them, seeking, by means of such precepts, to bring men into bondage. On this account, he pledged himself that the world should be dissolved, and that those who are his should be freed from the rule of them who made the world. (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book 1, Chapter 23, Verses 2-3. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

So, Simon Magus may have been the first who claimed association with Christianity to get many to also worship/venerate a woman.

Here is what the theological writer and one-time Roman Catholic writer Tertullian wrote about this in the late second century:

There is the (infamous) Simon of Samaria in the Acts of the Apostles, who chaffered for the Holy Ghost: after his condemnation by Him, and a vain remorse that he and his money must perish together, he applied his energies to the destruction of the truth, as if to console himself with revenge. Besides the support with which his own magic arts furnished him, he had recourse to imposture, and purchased a Tyrian woman of the name of Helen out of a brothel, with the same money which he had offered for the Holy Spirit,--a traffic worthy of the wretched man. He actually reigned himself to be the Supreme Father, and further pretended that the woman was his own primary conception, wherewith he had purposed the creation of the angels and the archangels; that after she was possessed of this purpose she sprang forth from the Father and descended to the lower spaces, and there anticipating the Father's design had produced the angelic powers, which knew nothing of the Father, the Creator of this world; that she was detained a prisoner by these from a (rebellious) motive very like her own, lest after her departure from them they should appear to be the offspring of another being; and that, after being on this account exposed to every insult, to prevent her leaving them anywhere after her dishonour, she was degraded even to the form of man, to be confined, as it were, in the bonds of the flesh. Having during many ages wallowed about in one female shape and another, she became the notorious Helen who was so ruinous to Priam, and afterwards to the eyes of Stesichorus, whom, she blinded in revenge for his lampoons, and then restored to sight to reward him for his eulogies. After wandering about in this way from body to body, she, in her final disgrace, turned out a viler Helen still as a professional prostitute. This wench, therefore, was the lost sheep, upon whom the Supreme Father, even Simon, descended, who, after he had recovered her and brought her back--whether on his shoulders or loins I cannot tell--cast an eye on the salvation of man, in order to gratify his spleen by liberating them from the angelic powers. (Tertullian. Translated by Peter Holmes. A Treatise on the Soul, Chapter 34. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 3. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

After Simon Magus' promotion of Helena, others sometimes involved women. Irenaeus wrote about the followers of the second century apostate Valentinus referring to the Holy Spirit as female:

1. Others, again, portentously declare that there exists, in the power of Bythus, a certain primary light, blessed, incorruptible, and infinite: this is the Father of all, and is styled the first man. They also maintain that his Ennoea, going forth from him, produced a son, and that this is the son of man -- the second man. Below these, again, is the Holy Spirit, and under this superior spirit the elements were separated from each other, viz., water, darkness, the abyss, chaos, above which they declare the Spirit was borne, calling him the first woman. Afterwards, they maintain, the first man, with his son, delighting over the beauty of the Spirit -- that is, of the woman -- and shedding light upon her, begat by her an incorruptible light, the third male, whom they call Christ -- the son of the first and second man, and of the Holy Spirit, the first woman.

15. Such are the opinions which prevail among these persons, by whom, like the Lernaean hydra, a many-headed beast has been generated from the school of Valentinus (Irenaeus. Against Heresies, Book 1, Chapter 30, Verses 1,15).

While Valentinus was condemned by saint Polycarp of Smyrna, the Church of Rome kept Valentinus around for decades after Polycarp condemned him.

Perhaps the first one who claimed to be Christian that also claimed to see a female apparition was the heretic/apostate Marcus. Marcus, like Valentinus, apparently also believed in the Ogdoad (in Egyptian mythology, the Ogdoad, Greek "ογδοάς" the eightfold, were eight deities worshipped in Hermopolis):

1. 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...

4...And as Marcus waited in the expectation that she would say something more, the Tetrad again came forward and said, "Thou hast reckoned as contemptible that word which thou hast heard from the mouth of Aletheia. This which thou knowest and seemest to possess, is not an ancient name. For thou possessest the sound of it merely, whilst thou art ignorant of its power. For Jesus (Ihsous) is a name arithmetically symbolical, consisting of six letters, and is known by all those that belong to the called. But that which is among the Aeons of the Pleroma consists of many parts, and is of another form and shape, and is known by those [angels] who are joined in affinity with Him, and whose figures (mightinesses) are always present with Him. (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.).

So, the apostate Marcus claimed to see a female apparition. 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. Marcus apparently affected many all over.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states:

Marcus...The founder of the Marcosians and elder contemporary of St. Irenæus, who, c. A.D. 175, in his refutation addresses him as one apparently still living (Adv. Haer., I, xi, 3, where the "clarus magister" is Marcus, not Epiphanes; and I, xiii, 21). Irenaeus, from whom St. Epiphanius (Haer., xxxiv) and St. Hoppolytus (Haer., VI, xxxix-lv) quote, makes Marcus, a disciple of Valentius (q.v.), with whom Marcus's aeonology mainly agrees. St. Jerome (Ep. 75, 3) makes him a follower of Basilides, confusing him no doubt with Marcus of Memphis. Clement of Alexandria, himself infected with Gnosticism, actually uses Marcus number system though without acknowledgement (Strom, VI, xvi) (Arendzen JP. Transcribed by Joseph P. Thomas. Marcus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX. Published 1910. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Tertullian wrote of a one-time disciple of Marcus called Apelles and his efforts in the second century:

If we must likewise touch the descent of Apelles, he is far from being" one of the old school," like his instructor and moulder, Marcion; he rather forsook the continence of Marcion, by resorting to the company of a woman, and withdrew to Alexandria, out of sight of his most abstemious master. Returning therefrom, after some years, unimproved, except that he was no longer a Marcionite, he clave to another woman, the maiden Philumene (whom we have already mentioned), who herself afterwards became an enormous prostitute. Having been imposed on by her vigorous spirit, he committed to writing the revelations which he had learned of her. (Tertullian. The Prescription against Heretics, Chapter 30. Translated by Peter Holmes. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 3. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Some apostates tried to push certain women. While this was condemned then, later versions were accepted, after the 'Mary' supposedly was involved.

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.

Marian apparitions were 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. 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, 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. Gregory the Wonderworker introduced all types of false doctrines and was apparently the first to clearly claim to receive messages directly from a 'Marian' apparition (see also Gregory the Wonder Worker).

But after Gregory and certain involvement with some who worshiped the pagan goddess Diana, the situation with 'Mary' and the Church of Rome changed as Rome started to embrace her veneration. Many of the portrayals of Jesus' mother Mary, came from worship of goddesses, like Diana, who the Greeks called Artemis.

An article in The Catholic Encyclopedia teaches that there were those who opposed this:

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).

Thus, Catholic scholars admit prior to the 4th century (which is when the Council of Nicea was) that there was not much related to Marian veneration, but they suspect that it may have existed. Thus, it was NOT documented as a part of the original faith nor among the earliest faithful traditions. This is a MAJOR CHANGE, then, as Marian adoration is a big deal within the faith that now calls itself "Catholic."

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 <>).

While we in the Continuing Church of God do teach that Mary was the mother of Jesus and that Jesus is now God, since Mary cannot grant divinity and Jesus emptied Himself of His divinity when He came in the flesh (Philippians 2:7) and did not retain it until after His resurrection (cf. John 20:28), we do not use the expression "Mother of God" to describe Mary.

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).

Therefore it should be clear that Marian worship/veneration was not originally part of the Catholic faith, but was a later innovation that even some with ties to that faith denounced. Bowing down before images of Mary is a form of idolatry, thus 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 Continuing 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 should be understood that while Catholics tend to claim that they only venerate Mary, but not worship her as they would God. The reality is that they worship her like they worship God.

Notice also the following writing by the "Venerable" Maria de Agreda of the 17th century:

Both the angelic spirits and the blessed souls, while rendering their adoration to the Lord with fear and worshipful reverence, rendered a like homage in its proportion to His Most Blessed Mother. The saints who were there in their bodies prostrated themselves and gave bodily signs of their worship. All these demonstrations at the Coronation of the Empress of Heaven redounded wonderfully to Her glory, to the new joy and jubilee of the saints and to the pleasure of the Most Blessed Trinity. (Venerable Mary of Agreda. Mystical City of God, Volume 4. As cited in The Fatima Crusader, 110, Autumn 2014, p. 20)

Mary of Agreda furthermore wrote:

In regard to the other rewards and crowns corresponding to Her peerless works and virtues, nothing that can be said could give any idea, and therefore I refer it to the Beatific Vision, where each one shall perceive them in proportion as his doings and his devotion shall have merited.

The Transition of Our Queen happened on the thirteenth of August, while Her Resurrection, Assumption and Coronation happened on Sunday the fifteenth, on the day in which it is celebrated in the Church. Her Sacred Body remained in the sepulchre thirty-six hours, just as the body of Her Divine Son; for Her Transition and Her Resurrection took place in the same hours of the day. (Venerable Mary of Agreda. Mystical City of God, Volume 4. As cited in The Fatima Crusader, 110, Autumn 2014, p. 20)

It may be important to realize that the ancient Romans had a 3 day festival for the goddess Diana. The first day was the 13th of August. On the third day, August 15, they celebrated Diana's 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 Origin of the Marian Dogmas.

But this dogma was proclaimed to be infallible, despite misgivings:

1950: On Nov. 1, facing huge crowds in St. Peter’s Square and supported by numerous high church and political dignitaries, Pope Pius XII definitively proclaimed the Assumption of Mary as a dogma. “The immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” I was there in St. Peter’s Square at the time and must admit that I enthusiastically hailed the pope’s declaration.

That was the first infallible ex cathedra proclamation by the church’s senior shepherd and highest teaching authority, who had invoked the special support of the Holy Spirit, all according to the definition of papal infallibility laid down at the First Vatican Council of 1870. And it was to remain the last ex cathedra proclamation to date, as even John Paul II, who restored papal centralism and was always happy to seek publicity, did not dare to play to the gallery by proclaiming a new dogma. As it was, the 1950 dogma proclamation had been made despite protests from the Protestant and Orthodox churches and from many Catholics, who simply could not find any evidence in the Bible for this “truth of faith revealed by God.”

I remember German theology students, who were our guests in the Collegium Germanicum (German College) in Rome, discussing the problems they had with the dogma in the refectory at the time. Only a few weeks previously, an article by the then leading German patrologist, Professor Berthold Althaner, a highly regarded Catholic specialist in the theology of the Church Fathers, had been published in which Althaner, listing many examples, had shown that this dogma had did not even have a historical basis in the first centuries of the early church. It goes back to a legend in an apocryphal writing from the fifth century that is brimful of miracles. (Kung H. Infallibility — Hans Küng appeals to Pope Francis. National Catholic Reporter, March 9, 2016. accessed 03/12/16)

(As far as Jesus goes, He was in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights as He prophesied in Matthew 12:40; those who claim 36 hours, like Mary of Agreda are bearing false witness. See also What Happened in the 'Crucifixion Week'?).

Perhaps it should be mentioned that there does not seem to be any proof that the Church of Roman held feasts to Mary before the seventh century, though a certain reverence was clear by the fifth century, and likely scattered idolatrous individuals earlier).

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

Black Madonna and Pagan Ties

Pope Francis authorized another holiday for his version of Mary:

Pope Francis Adds New Marian Feast to Roman Calendar

VATICAN CITY— Pope Francis has decreed that the feast of Our Lady of Loreto be included in the Roman Calendar as an optional memorial to be celebrated on Dec. 10.

“This celebration will help all people, especially families, youth and religious, to imitate the virtues of that perfect disciple of the Gospel, the Virgin Mother, who, in conceiving the Head of the Church also accepted us as her own,” Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, stated in the decree published Oct. 31.

With the decree, the optional memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto must appear in all calendars and liturgical books for the celebration of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.

Catholic pilgrims travel to the small Italian town of Loreto to stand inside the Holy House of Mary, preserved in a basilica, in which Tradition holds that the Virgin Mary was born, raised and greeted by the Gabriel the Archangel at the Annunciation. …

Pope Francis said in Loreto March 25. “The Holy House of Mary is the ‘home of the family,’” he said during his visit, noting that “in the delicate situation of today’s world, the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman takes on an importance and an essential mission.”

In a homily in 1995, St. Pope John Paul II called the Holy House of Loreto “the house of all God’s adopted children.”


The title Our Lady of Loreto refers to the Holy House of Loreto, the house in which Mary was born, and where the Annunciation occurred, and to an ancient statue of Our Lady which is found there. Tradition says that a band of angels scooped up the little house from the Holy Land, and transported it first to Tersato, Dalmatia in 1291, then Recanati, Italy in 1294, and finally to Loreto, Italy where it has been for centuries. accessed 11/01/19

The lighting in the photograph shown at the beginning of this post does not completely show the blackness of the face of that statue. The following link does have a photo more clearly showing the blackness of the woman and child in the statue:

The Lady of Loreto is what is called a “Black Madonna.”

The following was from an article at the website of the private Catholic University of Dayton:

Black Madonnas: Origin, History, Controversy

by Michael Duricy

November 7, 2019

There are black Madonnas and Black Madonnas. The former applies generically to any dark-skin-colored representation of Mary. ... The term used frequently to designate these images is inculturated Madonnas, meaning artwork by African or African-American artists (sometimes also by artists of a different racial background) for people of the same or similar cultures. These representations may convey a critical message inasmuch as they highlight the universal and thus trans-racial significance of the Christ event (including Mary). Most of these images are of recent origin; others came to prominence only recently. ...

However, this is not the topic of the following feature. The meaning of Black Madonna used here refers to a type of Marian statue or painting of mainly medieval origin (12C-15C), of dark or black features whose exact origins are not always easy to determine, and most important, of particular prominence. The latter, the prominence of the Black Madonna, is mostly due to the allegedly miraculous character of the image.

Among the miraculous Marian images are the so-called "Black Madonnas." Many of these images are quite popular among the faithful. Of the hundreds which presently exist at various shrines ...

In the early days of the 'comparative religions' discipline, authors casually equated the 'Black Virgins' venerated by Catholics with pagan goddess images of similar appearance, providing some with a polemic argument against the Catholic Church. ...

Stephen Benko: "The Black Madonna is the ancient earth-goddess converted to Christianity." His argument begins by noting that many goddesses were pictured as black, among them Artemis of Ephesus, Isis, Ceres, and others. Ceres, the Roman goddess of agricultural fertility, is particularly important. Her Greek equivalent, Demeter, derives from Ge-meter or Earth Mother. The best fertile soil is black in color and the blacker it is, the more suited it is for agriculture.

Were these images taken as-is, renamed [baptized as it were] and reused in Christian worship? If so, the practice seems compatible in spirit with the norms on inculturation given by Pope St. Gregory the Great in a letter to priests written in 601:

It is said that the men of this nation are accustomed to sacrificing oxen. It is necessary that this custom be converted into a Christian rite. On the day of the dedication of the [pagan] temples thus changed into churches, and similarly for the festivals of the saints, whose relics will be placed there, you should allow them, as in the past, to build structures of foliage around these same churches. They shall bring to the churches their animals, and kill them, no longer as offerings to the devil, but for Christian banquets in name and honor of God, to whom after satiating themselves, they will give thanks. Only thus, by preserving for men some of the worldly joys, will you lead them thus more easily to relish the joys of the spirit.

We may even wonder whether pagan statues of Mother and Child were thought to represent someone other than the Virgin Mary and her Son, Jesus. For Roman Catholics, Mary is "The Woman." (cf. Jn 2 and 19) Similarly, the only child worthy of special note is "The Christ Child." Lacking explicit identification, it seems natural that Christians read these perspectives into any art they saw. In fact, it seems that Eusebius of Caesarea took advantage of this predisposition and, sublimating any pagan roots [which he considered likely], used an image of the black Madonna as preparatio evangelii or evangelical preparation, a readily accepted introduction to the full Christian mystery, which is indeed centered on the Word's Incarnation through Mary.

Far from condemning the phenomenon, Benko, a non-Catholic, goes even further in validating this example of inculturation. ...

"Concerning why is she black--in Aramaic the language of Jesus--black means 'sorrowful'. It is a language of idioms. This links the Blessed Mother to Isis who was called 'sorrowing' in her search for Osiris."

For further information on Black Madonnas, refer to The Cult of the Black Virgin (1985) by Ean Begg; Mother Worship:Themes and Variations (1982) by James Preston (ed.); and The Virgin Goddess (1993) by Stephen Benko. ( accessed 11/07/19)

A woman who claims to be Roman Catholic (but, to me at least, is definitely more on the new age fringe Roman Catholic) has the following at her website:

The Mysterious Black Faces of the Madonna

By Ella Rozett

To many Christians Mary is the Heavenly Mother of all, and like a good mother she seeks to meet all the needs of her children. Especially as the mysterious “Black Madonna” she allows people to project their hopes, desires, and needs unto her, only to draw them ever deeper into divine mysteries.

She plays many roles for many different kinds of people: She is the heiress of the thrones of the pre-Christian goddesses. …

What exactly are Black Madonnas? Good question! Some are images of Mary the Mother of Jesus that portray her with pitch black skin, while her garments are colorful. Others are entirely made of a blackened metal or wood. Yet others simply darkened with patina, the normal aging process that all antique art and furniture undergoes. But – while countless very old statues are dark, only some of them have been honored with the special title “Black Madonna”, “Black Virgin” or “Black Mother of God”.

This title is a Catholic invention, unknown in Orthodox and Protestant Churches, except in the Anglican Church. Even on the rare occasion that Orthodox Christians revere a Catholic Black Madonna, they give her a different title. E.g. Our Lady of Loreto is known in the Russian Orthodox Church as ‘Increase of Reason’ because she is invoked especially to help with mental strength. See: “A Reasonable Look at the ‘Increase of Reason Icon’

Traditionally, a real Black Madonna is not something one can just produce; it is something that happens to a community when Heaven ordains it to be so. Countless wonderful legends tell of the sacred or miraculous origins of these images. …

French scholars tend to define only one type of dark Madonna as “authentically black”: … They are of Romanesque style, sculpted in wood in the 12th and 13th centuries … Their facial expressions are not tender and compassionate like those of later Marian images, but nobly aloof and sovereign. They portray a heavenly majesty far beyond our human realm of suffering. … They were enshrined at places that were sacred even before Christianity, pagan holy sites and natural “power spots” of exchange between heaven and earth. … They all have some connection to the Near Eastern Orient, i.e. the Holy Land or its neighbors, like Egypt, Syria, Ethiopia, etc. …

American scholars don’t have clear criteria for what constitues a Black Madonna. They simply acknowledge all who are claimed as such, at least 450 world wide, still counting. I think there are many more. …

Mother Earth, Pagan Goddesses, and Black Madonnas

Most Black Madonnnas have a strong connection to the earth. They are found buried in it (see Guadalupe de Caceres) or appear in trees (see Telgte), caves (see Montserrat), springs (see Font-Romeu), on mountain tops (see Dorres), by a sacred rock (see Le-Puy), and in the jungle (see Costa Rica). Often they are found with the help of animals guiding the way (see Olot). And so Pagan worship of Mother Earth turned into a Christian closeness to God’s sacred creation, mother nature.

One may wonder: as the Church appropriated Pagan objects of worship like trees, groves, springs, and rocks, did it value their sacredness or was it merely a ploy so that they could be controlled and gradually erased from people’s consciousness? I think both. …

In order to be able to keep venerating the same ancient trees, springs, and rocks that were consecrated to Pagan deities, Christians merely had to consecrate them to Christian saints. Many were baptized, so to say, in the name of Mary. Why her instead of Jesus? Because the feminine was always seen as more connected to nature and the earth: mother earth and father sky. …

Now, some of the most important Pre-Christian goddesses who were worshipped side by side with Christ, overtly until the 6th century, covertly until the 11th, are associated with the color black. Why? Going back to prehistoric times, black was the symbol for the earth and the Great Mother, the source of heaven and earth. The darker earth is, the more fertile, hence black is the color of fertility and creative power. …

Echoing that title of the goddess, Mary is called the “Gate of Heaven” (e.g. in the Litany of Loreto). …

ARTEMIS of EPHESUS was one of the most powerful goddesses of antiquity. She was a classic black Universal Mother and was older, more powerful, and more primal than her later Greek forms and her Roman equivalent Diana. … It does not seem a coincidence at all that it was here that the Council of Ephesus in A.D. 431 proclaimed Mary “Mother of God”. …

Then there are Christian feminists such as Charlene Spretnak and myself. We acknowledge Mary’s sisterhood with the goddesses as well as the pre-Christian roots of her cult. …

In her book “Missing Mary” Charlene Spretnak suggests that the Church should not be afraid of the “pagan” roots of Mary but appreciate the added strength from deeper roots. After all the early church had no fear of using pagan temples as their foundations and hosts. …

Many Christian theologians think of Mary as divine. Even Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) called her “divine mother” during Pope John Paul II’s funeral mass. To distinguish her status from that of Jesus, it is only said that she became divine by grace, whereas Jesus was always divine by nature. accessed 11/01/19

So, we see that the Black Madonna is basically a carryover from pagan worship.

And Pope Francis made another holiday for ‘Mary.’

Do those who promote Black Madonnas not realize that the Bible says:

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:21)

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 ‘I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Instead of keeping away from, and being separate from, pagan elements like idols, the Church of Rome embraces them. To be in God’s family, one does not go towards black madonnas such as some pontiffs have indicated–the Bible says to be separate from the unclean.

The Vatican’s recent Amazon synod has some Catholics wondering about their church’s view of pagan idols:

In the wake of the Oct. 6-27 Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, in fact, I would submit this proposition: “Pachamama” has become the new insider Catholic version of “Who am I to judge?” meaning a single word or phrase which, immediately upon utterance in front of another Catholic, whatever comes across their face will tell you everything you need to know about where he or she stands. …

The Pachamama is a female fertility figure, representing Mother Earth, venerated by peoples in the Andes and portions of the Amazon. In the context of the synod, it’s become the shorthand way of talking about several small figurines of a naked pregnant woman that made their initial appearance at an Oct. 4 indigenous prayer service in the Vatican gardens attended by Pope Francis, and that popped up several other times before going on display in Rome’s Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina near the Vatican.

From the beginning, they aroused intense controversy among traditionalist and conservative Catholics, who saw their presence at the Vatican – at the far end of opinion – as quasi-demonic symbols of pagan idolatry, or – somewhere closer to the middle – as expressions of an uncritical embrace of all things indigenous, without the “purification” which Pope emeritus Benedict XVI insists is the heart of Christianity’s interaction with cultures.

It should be obvious that the Black Madonna and Pachamama statues both represent mother fertility goddess worship. Pope Francis may be subtly (or really not so subtly because of the timing) trying to point out that female fertility symbols are something that the Church of Rome has embraced, so “get over” problems with the Pachamama controversy.

Related to the Amazon synod and the Pope’s agenda, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put out the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:


Vatican’s Babylonian Amazonian Religion

In front of Pope Francis, on October 4, 2019, the Vatican hosted an Amazonian tree-planting ceremony in where people bowed down to a circle around to semi-naked pagan female images. Vatican News promoted this. Some Catholics are concerned that the Amazonian synod is leading to two Catholic faiths: the traditional one and one that is being called the “Amazonian Religion.” The Vatican has also been promoting an interfaith agenda with the Jews and Muslims with the “Higher Committee of Human Fraternity,” and its first major project, the “Abrahamid Family House” (which is set to open in 2022). Are these good things for Christians? WIll they lead to the rise of Babylonian Beast and Antichrist power? What does the Bible warn about this? Do both the Bible and certain Catholic writings show that the Church of Rome will be betrayed by powers it will align with? Is some type of one world religion being worked on? If so, is the Vatican, World Council of Churches, certain Muslims, and the United Nations involved? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: Vatican’s Babylonian Amazonian Religion.

Pushing his version of ‘Mary,’ as well as his environmental agenda, is something Pope Francis has been doing for years. They are both part of his ecumenical, interfaith, and European agendas (see also Pope Approves New Feast Day for ‘Mary’). So in 2019, he invented another ‘Marian’ holiday–this clearly should prove to everyone that this was NOT an original Christian practice (cf. Jude 3).

Mary's Birthday?

Although not originally observed, various Catholics celebrate the alleged birthday of Mary.

September 8th  
A. Valentini  
The present Feast forms a link between the New and the Old Testament. It shows that Truth succeeds symbols and figures and that the New Covenant replaces the Old. Hence, all creation sings with joy, exults, and participates in the joy of this day…. This is, in fact, the day on which the Creator of the world constructed His temple; today is the day on which by a stupendous project a creature becomes the preferred dwelling of the Creator” (Saint Andrew of Crete). “Let us celebrate with joy the birth of the Virgin Mary, of whom was born the Sun of Justice…. Her birth constitutes the hope and the light of salvation for the whole world…. Her image is light for the whole Christian people” (From the Liturgy). …

At Rome the Feast began to be kept toward the end of the 7th century, brought there by Eastern monks. Gradually and in varied ways it spread to the other parts of the West in the centuries that followed. From the 13th century on, the celebration assumed notable importance, becoming a Solemnity with a major Octave and preceded by a Vigil calling for a fast. The Octave was reduced to a simple one during the reform of St. Pius X and was abolished altogether under the reform of Pius XII in 1955.

The present Calendar characterizes the Birth of Mary as a “Feast,” placing it on the same plane as the Visitation.

For some centuries now, the Birth has been assigned to September 8 both in the East and in the West, but in ancient times it was celebrated on different dates from place to place….

As we know, the Gospels have not transmitted to us anything about the birth of the Virgin Mary. Their attention is completely centered on the mystery of Christ and His salvific mission.

The birth of Mary is recounted by the Protevangelium of James (5:2), an apocryphal writing from the end of the 2nd century. Subsequent tradition is based on this account.

The description – although in the manner of an apocryphal document – obviously presents an important historical event: the birth of the Mother of the Lord.

But the problem that concerns us here is the significance of this event. In the case of all the Saints, the Church commemorates their birthday on the day of their return to the Lord. However, in the cases of St. John the Baptizer and the Blessed Virgin, it also celebrates the day of their earthly birth. (Dictionary of Mary (NY: Catholic Book, 1985) Catholic Book Publishing Company. Provided Courtesy of:
Eternal Word Television Network)

Notice that although this ‘holiday’ is supposedly a bridge between the Old and New Testaments, Rome did not start to observe it until the 7th century, the date used to vary, and it is based on an admittedly false account.  And let us quote the false account that this observance is supposedly based upon:

2 And her months were fulfilled, and in the ninth month Anna brought forth. And she said unto the midwife: what have I brought forth ? And she said: A female. And Anna said: My soul is magnified this day, and she laid herself down. And when the days were fulfilled, Anna purified herself and gave suck to the child and called her name Mary. (Protevangelium of James 5:2)

The above does NOT enjoin the observation of Mary’s ‘birthday.’  Notice that it basically says Mary was born, nursed, and her mother was happy she was born--that is not particularly different than what happens with most live births.  It should also be noted that neither the Jews or the early Christians observed birthdays (see also Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays?).  Birthday observances, including for Mary (and Jesus for that matter, see What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days?), were NOT part of the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

More on Apparitions Claiming to Be Mary

It should perhaps be mentioned that 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.

But notice an account of an early claimed apparition:

In 325 Emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicaea, which was the first ecumenical council ever held. More than 300 bishops from all over the Christian world came to debate the nature of the Holy Trinity, one of the early church's most intense theological questions. Arias, from Egypt, taught that the Son Jesus was not equal to God the Father. This was the Arian controversy which shook Christianity's very foundations. According to one account, when confronted by the unyielding Arias, Nicholas slapped him in the face. For such a breach of decorum, Nicholas was brought before Constantine, who stripped him of his office and had him thrown into prison. During the night, Jesus with his Mother Mary appeared to Nicholas: Jesus bringing the book of the Gospels, and Mary, the bishop's stole which had been taken from him. In this way Nicholas was reinstated. (Bishop of Myra. St. Nicholas Center. viewed 12/05/14)

While Jesus is God, since Jesus said, "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28), this should help prove that Nicholas was wrong to punch somebody who claimed to believe something like that--plus Christians are not to be violent (Luke 3:14; see also Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence?). Hence this helps demonstrate that Jesus' mother Mary truly DID NOT appear to him, to get him acquitted of this.

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.

Notice what the "Venerable" María de Ágreda of the 17th century claimed an apparition said:

"My Daughter, if anything could lessen the enjoyment of the Highest Felicity and Glory which I possess, and if, in it, I could be capable of any sorrow, without a doubt I would be grieved to see the Holy Church and the rest of the w or ld in its present state of labor, notwithstanding that men know Me to be their Mother, Advocate and Protectress in Heaven, ready to guide and assist them to Eternal Life." "In this state of affairs, when the Almighty has granted Me so many privileges as His Mother and when there are so many sources of help placed in My hands solely for the benefit of mortals and belonging to me as the Mother of clemency, it is a great cause of sorrow to Me to see mortals force Me to remain idle, and that, for want of calling upon Me, so many souls should be lost." "But if I cannot experience grief now, I may justly complain of men, that they load themselves with eternal damnation and refuse Me the glory of saving their souls.” “How much My intercession and the power I have in Heaven is worth has never been hidden in the Church, for I have demonstrated My ability to save all by so many thousands of miracles, prodigies and favors operated on behalf of those devoted to Me.” (Venerable Mary of Agreda. Mystical City of God, Volume 4. As cited in The Fatima Crusader, 110, Autumn 2014, p. 21)

The above is blasphemous and did not come from Mary of the Bible.

A famous apparition that greatly affected the Western Hemisphere is known as the 'Lady' of Guadalupe--but this was not Jesus' mother Mary (a video of related interest is titled: The 'Lady of Guadalupe' and Prophecy).

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.  viewed 05/16/2011)

Pope Francis also came out with doubts against Medjugorge:

Pope Francis has voiced serious doubt about the authenticity of alleged continuing apparitions of the Madonna in Medjugorje, a once-obscure village in Bosnia boosted by the pilgrim business.

"These presumed apparitions don't have a lot of value. This I say as a personal opinion," he told reporters on his plane returning on Saturday night from Portugal where he gave the Catholic Church two new child saints. [L8N1IF0M1]

Six children first reported visions of the Virgin Mary in 1981 in a scenario reminiscent of famous apparitions in the French town of Lourdes in the 19th century and 100 years ago in Fatima, which Francis visited on Friday and Saturday.

In the following years, the Bosnian village became a major pilgrimage site, giving many visitors a renewed sense of spirituality and locals a steady source of much-needed revenue.

It also became the focus of controversy as local Franciscan priests running the site promoted their claims in such open defiance of warnings from the Vatican that some were expelled from the order and the local bishop called them schismatic.

Some of the alleged visionaries, now adults, say they still experience apparitions regularly, and that the Madonna tells them ahead of time when she will appear to them.

Many say the apparitions are a hoax.

Former Pope Benedict set up a commission of theologians and bishops to study the situation. Its report has not been published but was given to Pope Francis in 2014.

Francis said investigations are continuing into the first alleged apparitions when the reported visionaries were children or teenagers, but again made it clear that he is highly sceptical about today's claims.

Here is more from Pope Francis on Medjugorje:

Medjugorje, all the apparitions, or the presumed apparitions, belong to the private sphere, they aren’t part of the public, ordinary magisterium of the Church. Medjugorje. Medjugorje. A commission was formed, headed by Cardinal Ruini. Benedict XVI made it. I, at the end of 2013 the beginning of 2014, I received the result from Cardinal Ruini. It was commission good theologians, bishops, cardinals, but good. Very good. And the commission. The Ruini report was very, very good. Then there were some doubts in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Congregation judged it opportune to send each one of the members of this Feria quarta (Editor’s note: “Feria Quarta” is a once-a-month meeting in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith during which current cases are examined) all the documentation, even those that seemed to be against the Ruini report. I received a notification – I remember it was a Saturday evening, late evening… and it didn’t seem right. It was like putting up for auction – excuse me the word – the Ruini report which was very well done. And Sunday morning the prefect received a letter from me that said that instead of sending them to the Feria Quarta, they they would send the opinions to me personally.

These opinions were studied and all of them underscore the density of the Ruini report. Principally, three things must be distinguished: the first apparitions, that they were kids. The report more or less says that it must continue being studied. The apparitions, the presumed current apparitions: the report has its doubts. I personally am more nasty, I prefer the Madonna as Mother, our Mother, and not a woman who’s the head of a telegraphic office, who everyday sends a message at such hour. This is not the Mother of Jesus. And these presumed apparitions don’t have a lot of value. This I say as a personal opinion. But, it’s clear. Who thinks that the Madonna says, ‘come tomorrow at this time, and at such time I will say a message to that seer?’ No. The two apparitions are distinguished. The third, the core of the Ruini report, the spiritual fact, the pastoral fact. People go there and convert. People who encounter God, change their lives…but this…there is no magic wand there. And this spiritual and pastoral fact can’t be ignored. Now, to see things with all this information, with the answers that the theologians sent me, this good, good bishop was appointed because he has experience, to see the pastoral part, how it’s going. And at the end he’ll say some words. 05/15/17

So, while the messages of Mendjugorje are false, Pope Francis sees the alleged 'conversions' as positive. These are not conversions to true Christianity. Medjugorje should be strongly condemned. Marian apparitions are not from the God of the Bible.

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).

34 Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died, yea that is risen also again; who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:34, DRB)

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.

Notice something from the New Jerusalem Bible (another Roman Catholic approved translation):

10 It was Yahweh’s good pleasure to crush him with pain; if he gives his life as a sin offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his life, and through him Yahweh’s good pleasure will be done.

11 After the ordeal he has endured, he will see the light and be content. By his knowledge, the upright one, my servant will justify many by taking their guilt on himself.

12 Hence I shall give him a portion with the many, and he will share the booty with the mighty, for having exposed himself to death and for being counted as one of the rebellious, whereas he was bearing the sin of many and interceding for the rebellious. (Isaiah 53:10-12, NJB).

25 It follows, then, that his power to save those who come to God through him is absolute, since he lives for ever to intercede for them.

26 Such is the high priest that met our need, holy, innocent and uncontaminated, set apart from sinners, and raised up above the heavens;

27 he has no need to offer sacrifices every day, as the high priests do, first for their own sins and only then for those of the people; this he did once and for all by offering himself. (Hebrews 7:25-27, NJB)

Both the Old and New Testaments demonstrate that Jesus is the one who intercedes. Not that Mary can intercede in the lives of living Christians.

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: 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 Irma Barretto, and Patricia Jersin, both of Redondo Beach, California. 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.

The Unholy Movie

 On June 8, 2021, Catholic Online sent out the following in an email related to the 2021 movie The Unholy:

I'm sure it will break your heart, as it has mine … this gargantuan, international movie company, Sony Pictures, using their platform to promote the idea that praying to Holy Mary and devotion to Her is actually praying to a demon and risking demonic possession.

This is NOT to be taken lightly!
Sony Pictures is a big deal with a mega-phone projecting its message across the globe.

Tell Sony Pictures: "NEVER AGAIN blaspheme Holy Mary and devotion to her!"

Yes. According to press reports, Sony intentionally premiered this movie on Good Friday this year.

Michael Haynes, writing for LifeSiteNews, sums up the film:

"In what seems to be a deliberate move, Sony Pictures is releasing a new film on Good Friday [sic] that severely blasphemes Mary, the Mother of God, by portraying her as akin to a devil.

… "the trailer depicts what is purported to be Mary as a demonic figure with blood, black tears, and empty eyes in her statues. …The girl who supposedly sees Mary is also depicted with black eyes, another characteristic of demonic portrayal."

…so, since a picture is worth a thousand words, I will link to the promotional posters, but I WARN YOU … though they are not offensive to holy purity, these Sony promotional posters BLASPHEME Our Lady and are hurtful, insulting, and mocking. They also show us the depths of evil. We must denounce them at the risk of otherwise becoming tepid, mediocre, and complacent in the face of sin.

As it turns out, my wife and I did see this movie.

It does NOT depict Jesus' mother Mary as demonic. The Unholy movie did not say anything bad about Mary. What is did was depict a false Marian apparition as demonic.

In many ways the movie was very, very accurate.

One of the statements I remember hearing in The Unholy movie was something to the effect that people saw what this apparition was doing and it was right for them to believe what they saw.

But the Apostle Paul stated that Christians should “we walk by faith, and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7, DRB).

The messages from Fatima and the Marian apparition in The Unholy were against scripture, hence unholy.

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.

Notice something that the late Herbert W. Armstrong stated on the radio:

Who's going to put that yoke on our neck? Will you turn real quickly back to Isaiah 47; I only have a few moments. Isaiah 47:1: "Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon [now this isn't ancient Babylon 600 years before Christ. It's the daughter of that Babylon, a virgin daughter Babylon. This is a prophecy for the far, far future, not a history of that day], O daughter of the Chaldeans [that Babylon was always called in the male gender as a he. Here is one that is a daughter, and my friends the feminine gender is always spoken of as a church, and the male gender as a civil government. And here it's speaking of a religious element here that is going to get into politics and rule over the political power it's speaking of. It's a modern thing, this is not the ancient Babylon - listen]: thou shall no more be called tender and delicate." (Isaiah 47:1) Just compare that to Revelation 17 and Revelation 18. You'll see the same thing, speaking of the same power exactly. Now the fifth verse, "Sit thou silent, get thee into the darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: thou shall no more be called [what?], The lady of kingdoms" (Isaiah 47:5). 'Lady' means a religious organization or church that entered into politics and ruled over nations. That's exactly what it's speaking of and you turn to Revelation 17 and there you'll find it described. "I [says God] was wroth with my people [that's Israel, and], I have polluted mine inheritance..." [that's Israel] (Isaiah 47:6). Why? Because of their sins, and He's going to punish us to STRAIGHTEN us out lest we destroy our own selves. God loves us and He's going to let us be punished for our own good if we won't heed His warning without the punishment. Listen, "[I have]...given them [that's Israel — His inheritance] into THINE hand [this daughter of Babylon] and thou did show them no mercy upon the ancient [or Israel] hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke." (Isaiah 47:6) There is the power that had the yoke on us. (Wake Up and Return To Our GOD!

This ties in with other scriptures (see Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel).

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."

Now, see the following from Catholic Msgr. Charles Pope:

Yes, the Church is a bride, not a widow.
(September 17, 2019

So, Roman Catholics believe their church will not be a widow. Sounds like the statments in Isaiah 47 and Revelation 18.

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:

But 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; he also said something similar in his Sermon dated November 27, 1982)

Here are some items from the late Radio/Worldwide Church of God evangelist Raymond McNair:

Fatima Portugal

THE Pope's pilgrimage to Portugal is the biggest event ever to occur in this country!" an elated Portuguese exclaimed to me. This momentous occasion is the 50th anniversary of the first Fatima vision. It was on May 13, 1917 that three poor, uneducated Portuguese peasant children believed the Virgin Mary appeared to them, It is also the 25th anniversary of Pope Pius XII's consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary! ...

The Pope had come to Fatima to lead all Catholics worldwide in prayer for peace - peace within the Church, and peace in the whole world. ...

"The first intention is for the Church .... We want to pray, as we have said, for its intemal peace." Then the Pope gave a solemn warning to the ecclesiastical princes of the Catholic Church who do not agree with the official teachings of the Church." What terrible damage could be provoked by arbitrary interpretations, not authorized by the teaching of the Church, disrupting its traditional and constitutional structure ... " ...

The Pontiff then pointed to that great part of humanity which lives in hunger and in dire need." Therefore, we say, the world i s in DANGER. For this reason WE HAVE COME TO THE FEET OF THE QUEEN OF PEACE to ask her for the gift, which only God can give, of peace." ...

In the German Suddeutsche Zeitung there was an article in which it was revealed that Pope Paul VI had received a message in Fatima through the only remaining shepherd girl (who is now a nun). They were seen quite some time together and it appeared as if she had something to say to him. When asked in Rome, after his return, if his visit to Fatima was a success, Pope Paul said: " I went to Fatima to pray for peace to the Virgin Mary and I received the answer how to, achieve this peace."

There are many rumors that he did receive a message, but he has not wanted to divulge it.

Since the pilgrimage to Fatima, the Pope has spoken out on Jerusalem- demanding it become an international city. What most do not know is that there is evidence the Vatican has plans to move from Rome to Jerusalem ... This event will stir the world! It will be the Pope 's final effort as the world's peacemaker! (McNair R. The Real Meaning Behind POPE PAUL'S PILGRIMAGE TO PORTUGAL. Plain Truth, June 1967, pp. 3, 47)

Jerusalem will become increasingly important to Catholics in the near future. The Papacy will, as previously reported in The PLAIN TRUTH, be moved from Rome to Jerusalem ... Bible prophecy is very explicit on this point. Furthermore, according to a recent report in a leading German newspaper, the Third Fatima Message is reported (by inside, informed Vatican sources) to reveal that there will be a terrible World War III, during which (according to this Fatima Vision) both Rome and the Vatican will be destroyed! Could this possibly explain why the Vatican will be moved to Jerusalem? (McNair R. POPE MEETS PATRIARCH. Plain Truth, October 1967)

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

Here is something from Gene Hogberg:

Members of the Roman Catholic curia in the Vatican, wrote Roger Boyes in the June 15 Times of London, say that an overture toward the Soviet Union is now the pope's "great obsession." Journalist Boyes asserts that the Fatima prophecy is important to the pope because of his "Marian devotion and his constant search for signs from her. "In this light, one must also be aware, as is the pope, of what has been transpiring for the past six years at Medjugorje, Yugoslavia.

Since June 24, 1981, several young people have experienced “Mary” in apparition on a  daily basis. The form that they see, touch and converse with, though no one else around them can, has admonished them to continually pray and perform other religious duties. The young visionaries also claim to have received 10 secrets concerning the future of the world. At the very beginning six years ago the apparition presented herself saying, “I am the Queen of Peace.”

I obtained literature about the Medjugorje phenomenon at a Catholic ecumenical bookstore near St. Peter’s Basilica. The sales clerk said that Medjugorje is a far bigger event than has been portrayed in the American press. It is apparent that some startling days lie ahead. (Hogberg G. Election surprising, pope peers at Russia. Worldwide News, June 22, 1987, p. 2)

Startling yes.

The Bible warns against end time Babylon and says that God's people should not be part of it:

1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury."

4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, 'I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.' 8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day — death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. (Revelation 18:1-8)

Notice some lyrics from a song written by Cardinal John Henry Newmann:

THERE sat a Lady all on the ground, ... "Here I sit desolate," sweetly said she, "Though I'm a queen, and my name is Marie: (160. The Pilgrim Queen. The Oratory. 1849; accessed 02/27/20).

Does not the mourning Lady sitting as a queen and desolate sound a bit like Revelation 18:7-8?

Despite the biblical warnings about that "queen," Pope Francis wants to use 'Mary' as a springboard for the type of ecumenical unity that the Bible condemns. Notice, for one example, how Pope Francis specifically appealed to Mary to unite prior to giving his 'Angelus prayer':

And we entrust this, our prayer, to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church so that She, like a good Mother, may unite us. (Angelus Address: On the Thirst for Unity. January 25, 2015

The 'Angelus prayer' starts out with the words, "Hail Mary" and the pontiff's goal is a Babylonian unity. The Bible warns against that (Zechariah 2:6-9) and shows that true unity does not come through 'Mary' but happens AFTER the return of Jesus Christ (Zechariah 2:10-11; see also Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox?).

Notice also the following:

Pope Francis says Jesus is not our hope, Mary and the Mother Church are

May 26, 2016

Pope Francis, speaking to mark the occasion of the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows in Casa Santa Marta, said the following: “And this is our hope. We are not orphans, we have Mothers: Mother Mary. But the Church is Mother and the Mother Church is anointed when it takes the same path of Jesus and Mary: the path of obedience, the path of suffering, and when she has that attitude of continually learning the path of the Lord. These two women -- Mary and the Church -- carry on the hope that is Christ, they give us Christ, they bring forth Christ in us. Without Mary, there would be no Jesus Christ; without the Church, we cannot go forward“. Source

Jesus has been demoted to third place behind ‘mother’ Mary and the ‘Holy Mother Church’, the Roman Catholic Church. The bible says, however that the “blessed hope” of the Christian is “the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Scripture never mentions Mary one time as being the hope of anyone or anything. But if you’re a Catholic Francis says that “ today we can go forward with a hope: the hope that our Mother Mary, steadfast at the Cross, and our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church, give us.“

Jesus has been demoted to third place behind ‘mother’ Mary and the ‘Holy Mother Church’, the Roman Catholic Church. The bible says, however that the “blessed hope” of the Christian is “the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Scripture never mentions Mary one time as being the hope of anyone or anything. But if you’re a Catholic Francis says that “ today we can go forward with a hope: the hope that our Mother Mary, steadfast at the Cross, and our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church, give us.“

False Marian apparitions and telling people to turn towards Mary are parts of Satan's Plan (see also Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?).

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. 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) (see the following section in this paper).

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.

The Rosary and the Brown Scapular

Some feel that the rosary either came from St. Dominic or later Dominicans as the result of an apparition:

Some histories of the rosary claim this tradition, too, originated with Saint Dominic. One legend holds that the Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Dominic in the church of Prouille, in 1208, and gave the rosary to him. However, other sources dispute this attribution and suggest that its roots were in the preaching of Alan de Rupe between 1470-1475. (Saint Dominic. New World Encyclopedia. viewed 06/29/11 )

Here is information from The Catholic Encyclopedia on the development of the rosary:

Impressed by this conspiracy of silence, the Bollandists, on trying to trace to its source the origin of the current tradition, found that all the clues converged upon one point, the preaching of the Dominican Alan de Rupe about the years 1470-75. He undoubtedly was the one who first suggested the idea that the devotion of “Our Lady’s Psalter” (a hundred and fifty Hail Mary’s) was instituted or revived by St. Dominic. Alan was a very earnest and devout man, but, as the highest authorities admit, he was full of delusions, and based his revelations on the imaginary testimony of writers that never existed (see Quetif and Echard, “Scriptores O.P.”, 1, 849).

So, the one who claimed that Dominic came up with the rosary was considered to be delusional by top Catholic authorities.

Also notice some interesting facts from Priest P.A. Duffner:

We do not have any historical documents dating from that period expressly referring to St. Dominic and the Rosary…We have to remember that in the time of St. Dominic:

1. The HAIL MARY did not exist as we pray it today . . . The word JESUS was not added until the 14th century, and the second half of the prayer came later still.

2. The OUR FATHER and the GLORY BE TO THE FATHER were not then part of the Rosary.

3. The Mysteries of the Rosary...The fifteen mysteries in use today were officially established by Pope Pius V in 1569.

4. There was no pendent (the cross and five extra beads) as we have now.

5. The very word “Rosary” taken from the Latin word “rosarium” meaning rose garden, or bouquet of roses, was not used in the time of Dominic as applied to this devotion. (Duffner PA Priest. IN DEFENSE OF A TRADITION. The Rosary Light & Life - Vol 49, No 5, Sep-Oct 1996. http://www.rosary-center. org/ll49n5.htm 11/21/10)

Thus, the rosary as it now exists was not an original tradition as it did not come into being until well over a thousand years after the last of the original apostles died.

Catholic saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Monfort essentially wrote that Alan de la Roche claims that he saw Dominic in a dream, that in 1214 Dominic had seen a “Lady” after he had beat himself into a coma, that the use of the rosary was sort of lost, but that Alan de la Roche later reintroduced it (Montfort L. The Secrets of the Rosary. Translated by Mary Barbour. Nihil Obstat: Guliemus F. Hughes, Imprimatur: Thomas E. Molloy, 1954. Montfort Publications, 1965. Original from the University of Virginia, Digitized Oct 20, 2008, pp. 18-24).

Even presuming he is correct, it should be abundantly clear that the rosary was NEITHER from the Bible nor an apostolic tradition. The rosary and the current “Hail Mary” were late innovations.

Based upon Catholic teachings about the origin of the rosary, it apparently came from either someone in a coma (when the modern “Hail Mary” was not part of the rosary) or later from one who was delusional (and had other problems as well). How can anyone claim that the “Lady of the Rosary” could possibly be Mary, mother of Jesus?

While Catholics tend to believe that the expression, “Hail Mary, full of grace,” is straight from the Bible, that is not literally correct. More literal translations of that portion of scripture would be: 'Rejoice, you who enjoy…favour! (Luke 1:28, NJB) Rejoice, highly favored one (Luke 1:28, NKJV)

Also, the Bible (DRB, NJB, NKJV) never calls Mary “holy” as the Hail Mary prayer does.

When the Fatima apparition appeared on May 13, and then July 13, 1917, Lucia (the oldest of the three children to see it) claimed that it said:

Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of war. (Santos L. Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words, 14th edition. Priest L
Kondor ed. Translated by Dominican Nuns of Perpetual Rosary. Imprimatur Fatimae, Junii 2003 + Seraphinus, Episc. Leir-Fatimensis, Ravengate Press, September 2004, p. 176)

pray the Rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world, because only she can help you. (Ibid, p. 178)

The idea that only the Lady of the Rosary could help the children leaves God completely out of the picture and makes the Lady more powerful than God. This is not theologically proper. It is blasphemous.

Brown Scapular: Does it Contradict Catholic Dogma?

Lucia of Fatima fame claimed, “The Rosary and Scapular are inseparable” (Ibid, p. 23).

A brown scapular originally was a wool object that sometimes comes in the form of metals instead.  It seems to be worn like a medallion. "Sister Lucia has said all Catholics should wear the Brown Scapular as part of the Fatima message" (Anon. Our Lady of Fatima's Peace Plan from Heaven. Nihil Obstat: Fintan G. Walker, Imprimatur: +Paul C. Schulte, January 15, 1950. Originally from Abbey Press, 1950. Reprint TAN Books ,1990, p.23)

Supposedly, when the apparition appeared on October 13, 1917, Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta saw her hold a brown scapular in her hand (Madigan L. A pilgrim's handbook to Fatima. Gracewing Publishing, 2001, p. 230).

“At the end of the 40s . . . Lucia . . . recalled that the Blessed Virgin . . . wished that devotion of the holy Scapular be propagated.” (The Scapular.  Fatima Crusader, special introductory edition, p. 13)

Of course, if Mary actually wanted this, it seems odd that it took Lucia decades to tell this to anybody.

“The Brown Scapular is part of a religious habit belonging in its own right to the Carmelite order. Devotion for the Scapular of Our Lady of Carmel was born in the 13th   century when after being purchased from Palestine by the Saracens, the Carmelite brothers encountered great difficulties in getting established in Europe and elsewhere . . . Simon Stock, elected Prior General of the order in 1247, had, a few years later an apparition . . . presenting the Scapular to him as a sign of salvation for his brothers.” (The Scapular, p. 13)

Simon Stock’s original name was Simon Anglus (the surname Stock was added after his death), and his feast day is May 16th (Madigan, p. 230).

An apparition the Catholic “saint” Simon Stock thought was Mary told him the following about the brown scapular:

Whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire.” (Madigan, p. 23)

It is important to realize that this is absolutely contrary to scripture as there is nothing in the Bible that hints that being clothed in some physical way pays the penalty for sin or in any way provides salvation.

Should one who eliminates any part of Catholic dogma be considered as a Catholic saint? Specifically, Simon Stock’s apparition (which could not have been Mary) indicates that one can sin and not suffer the flames of eternal torment if they die wearing a scapular. Obviously, any who believe his claims about the scapular must accept that repentance (which the Bible requires for salvation, Acts 2:38) or confession (as understood by the Church of Rome) is not necessary.

I should perhaps add that a Catholic woman, who owns some scapulars, specifically told me that Catholics should not wear the scapular as a “good luck charm” and that repentance is necessary for salvation for humans. And she is right about that.

Catholics who accept Simon Stock as a saint should ask themselves if he was correct, why Catholic dogma would teach the following (bolding in original):

The Sacramental confession of sins is ordained by God and is necessary for salvation. (De fide.) (Ott L. L. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 4th ed. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), Nihil Obstat: Jeremiah J. O’ Sullivan. Imprimatur: + Cornelius, 7 October 1954., Printed 1974, TAN Books, p. 431)

The fact that Simon Stock stated that all one had to do was to die while wearing a scapular, to avoid the punishment "capital sins" is opposed to Catholic dogma (Ott, cf. Index of Subjects, pp. 431-433).

Neither the wearing of a scapular nor the recitation of the rosary is even listed as part of Catholic dogma in Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Ott, cf. Index of Subjects, pp. 513-523).

The fact that Lucia endorsed the scapular, as well as the rosary, should also show all that her “private revelations” were beyond scripture and Catholic dogma as well.
According to Priest Gobbi, on February 26, 1991, another apparition claimed:

The scapular and the rosary are . . . a simple means by which God helps His children. Wear it always. (Flynn Ted and Maureen. The Thunder of Justice. MaxKol Communications, Inc. Sterling (VA), 1993, p. 396)

Yet, the Bible nowhere mentions either of these (actually, sewing certain religious items on clothing seems to be condemned, cf. Ezekiel 13:18-20, NJB/NKJV). If this was something that God wanted done, would He have not simply mentioned it in His word?

Therefore, it should be abundantly clear that the scapular is NEITHER from the Bible nor an apostolic tradition. The scapular was an innovation, and its innovator contradicted both the Bible and Catholic dogma.

But Aren’t the Rosary and Brown Scapular Traditions?

Neither the rosary nor scapular, both dating no earlier than the 13th century for the Church of Rome, were a part of the apostolic faith held by the "original" CATHOLIC CHURCH. (Nor was the "green scapular" which seemingly came from an apparition in 1830: Macdonald RA. The Green Scapular. The Fatima Center. http:// highlight=%22green+scapular%22 Viewed 04/01/2011)

In 451, Pope "Saint Leo the Great" wrote:

I venture with greater confidence to stir up your piety…dissent in even a single word from the teachings of the gospels and apostles is forbidden, as is any opinion on holy scripture that differs from what the blessed apostles and our fathers learnt and taught (Pope Leo to Marcian 23 April 451 as translated by Richard Price and Michael Gaddis. The acts of the Council of Chalcedon. Liverpool University Press, c. 2007, p. 97).

Priest Nicolas Gruner wrote:

The Church is Catholic . . . because it's universal in time. It’s the same Faith, the same practices, from the time of Christ to the end of time.

If the CATHOLIC CHURCH has not changed, then (amongst other things) those who are truly part of the original one have not adopted either the practices of the rosary nor the brown scapular for salvation as most Fatimists advocate. Despite writing the above, Priest Gruner (in the same article) wrote:

We must pray the Rosary. That is central to Our Lady’s Message. As Our Lady of Fatima said so eloquently, "Only Our Lady of the Rosary can help you." (Gruner N. Living Our Daily Lives In the Light of the Fatima Secret, p. 48)

While the rosary and brown scapular became traditions for many Catholics, one needs to understand that the role of tradition is also not to be in conflict with scripture. They were not part of the original faith and allegedly came from apparitions.

Mary Did NOT Have a Halo

Did Mary have a halo? There are many depictions of her with one.

Mary did not have a halo

The following is in Mike Gendron’s January 2016 newsletter:

Another Mary Who Is Quite Contrary

In its refusal to submit to God’s Word as the supreme authority in matters of faith, the Roman Catholic Church worships another Jesus, teaches another gospel, and is deluded by another spirit (2 Cor.11:4). However, those soul-condemning errors are only the tip of the iceberg. Her deceptive practices and ungodly traditions also include the veneration of another Mary. The Mary of Catholicism is a twisted distortion of the Mary revealed in Scripture who also gave birth to James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and their sisters (Mark 6:3). Rome rejects the Scriptural proof of Mary’s other children by infallibly declaring she remained a virgin throughout her life. This counterfeit Mary is said to be another sinless mediator who is the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 494).

The exaltation of the virgin Mary by Catholics is completely unfounded in Scripture. Outside of the Gospels, Mary’s name is mentioned only once and that is when she is praying with her other children and other believers in the upper room (Acts 1:14). Information about Mary in the Gospels is also very sparse. After the narratives related to the birth of Jesus, there are only three other references to Mary. The first is at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-5). Next is when she and the brothers of Jesus desired to talk to Jesus. Jesus responded that His mother and brothers are those who do the will of God (Mat. 12:46-50). One other reference is given when a woman in the crowd calls the mother of Jesus blessed, but Jesus does not affirm her. Instead He said blessed are those who hear the Word and observe it (Luke 11:27-28).

Roman pontiffs have created a Mary that shares the divine attributes of the Lord Jesus Christ. They say she was conceived without sin, lived a sinless life, was bodily assumed into glory, is the mediatrix of all grace, is our advocate, and now reigns as Queen of heaven alongside the King of kings. Pope Francis declared, “The Immaculate ‘Virgin’ becomes the sublime icon of Divine Mercy that conquered sin. To her I entrust the Church and all humanity, especially the city of Rome.”

The idolatry associated with the Catholic Mary is evidenced in many ways, but primarily in the ungodly practice of praying to her. Prayer is one of the deepest forms of worship because it acknowledges the divine power of the person to whom we pray. This is why we never see any God-fearing man praying to anyone other than God in the Bible. Yet thousands of Catholics pray to Mary, at the same time asking for her help. The only way Mary could hear and answer those prayers would be if she were omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Yet, she is only human like all of us.
Mike’s Comment: As Christians, we esteem Mary as blessed among women, but to ascribe divine powers and attributes to her is blasphemous and idolatrous. Satan will use anything to persuade people to take their eyes off Jesus. Just as he deceived Eve by his cunning, Catholics who idolize Mary will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Cor. 11:3). Our dear Catholic friends and loved ones need to be warned of how God hates idolatry. We must call them to turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thes. 1:9).

While Christians can call Mary blessed (Luke 1:48), the Bible never refers to Mary as one to be venerated or prayed to.

Now, I intentionally used a picture that is claimed to be of Mary with a halo to point out that this too is contrary to scripture.  If Mary had been traveling around with a halo, that would have caused quite a commotion.  But even though she did not, that is how she is sometimes portrayed.

Most do not realize that the halo idea from the followers of the pagan sun-god Mithra.

Mithra Had a Halo

Year ago, Wikipedia’s article on Halos reported:

Round “solar discs” above the head are seen in depictions of many deities of Ancient Egypt, including Ra and Hathor, and symbols resembling later haloes, such as the sun cross, are found in many ancient religions, especially in connection with sun worship. Homer describes a more-than-natural light around the heads of heroes in battle, and in Aristophanes’ Birds the founder of Cloud-Cuckoo-Land is extravagantly said to outshine stars and sun. Depictions of Perseus in the act of slaying Medusa, with lines radiating from his head, appear on a white-ground toiletry box in the Louvre and on a slightly later red-figured vase in the style of Polygnotos, ca. 450-30 BC, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. On painted wares from south Italy radiant lines or simple haloes appear on a range of mythic figures: Lyssa, a personification of madness; a sphinx, a sea demon, Thetis, the sea-nymph who was mother to Achilles, The Colossus of Rhodes, was a statue of the sun-god Helios and had his usual radiate crown (copied by the Statue of Liberty). Hellenistic rulers are often shown wearing radiate crowns that seem clearly to imitate this effect. A more prosaic influence that has been cited by some historians is the Greek practice of placing circular metal discs above the head of statues to protect them from birds and their droppings, thus anticipating the “perspectival” halo by over a millennium. In Asian art The halo and the aureole have been widely used in Indian art, particularly in Buddhist iconography where it has appeared since at least the 1st century AD; the Kushan Bimaran casket in the British Museum is variously dated between 30BC and 60AD.

The above may be too politically incorrect now as it is no longer found on Wikipedia.  But the idea of halos coming from Egypt has long been known (Massey. Ancient Egypt Light Of The World 2 Vol Set. Routledge, 2013, p. 219). While other pagan systems like the Egyptians had an illuminating “halo,” the one that came into the main Western religions apparently came from Mithraism as a sign of being illuminated.

Mithraism was the religion of the Roman Emperor Constantine who attempted to merge it with Christianity in the fourth century. 

Bridge to Islam? Orthodox Warning that "Mary" May Lead People to Antichrist

Notice the following:

Mary’s Providential Bridge to Islam

May 15, 2017

From the time of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Fatima, Portugal, many have wondered about the possible significance of Our Lady choosing a location with such an apparent connection to Islam.

As a matter of historical importance, Fatima was the favorite daughter of Muhammad — a woman considered of the highest dignity in Islam, save for only one person: the Virgin Mary. Indeed, after Fatima's death at around the age of 26, her father wrote to his dead daughter: “Thou shalt be the most blessed of women in Paradise after Mary.”

Is there a relationship between the appearance of Our Lady and the Muslim world? Surely, it was not a random choice by the Blessed Mother, and so how should we approach the possible message it sends to the world at this historical moment?

It is a surprise to many that Islam traditionally has thought so highly of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is called by Muslims Miriam or Maryam in Arabic, and also Umm Isa, or “Mary, the mother of Jesus,” or simply, Sayyida, the Lady.

Mary is the only woman named in the Quran, and she is revered as a righteous woman in her own right and as the most pious, chaste and virtuous woman in history. ...

It was in the very village named after a convert from Islam — a convert initially named after Muhammad’s daughter — that the Blessed Mother chose to appear to the three shepherd children May 13, 1917. What does it mean? What is Our Lady trying to teach us? Is she telling us that just as she shows us the way to her Son that the path ahead in evangelization and overcoming the savagery of jihadism might also pass through her loving heart?

Venerable Fulton Sheen thought so.

In his 1952 book, The World’s First Love, he devoted a chapter to Mary and the Muslims. He prophetically observed, “At the present time, the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming a hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world power.”

Archbishop Sheen, however, did not despair. Instead, he looked to Fatima and to Mary. “Since nothing ever happens out of heaven except with a finesse of all details,” he wrote, “I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too.”

He added:

“Missionaries in the future will, more and more, see that their apostolate among the Moslems will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima. Mary is the advent of Christ, bringing Christ to the people before Christ himself is born. In any apologetic endeavor, it is always best to start with that which people already accept. Because the Moslems have a devotion to Mary, our missionaries should be satisfied merely to expand and to develop that devotion, with the full realization that Our Blessed Lady will carry the Moslems the rest of the way to her Divine Son. She is forever a ‘traitor,’ in the sense that she will not accept any devotion for herself, but will always bring anyone who is devoted to her to her Divine Son. As those who lose devotion to her lose belief in the divinity of Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief. … The Moslems should be prepared to acknowledge that, if Fatima must give way in honor to the Blessed Mother, it is because she is different from all the other mothers of the world and that without Christ she would be nothing.”

We seek bridges to Islam. Mary is a way.

Notice also:

Mary: The Bridge between Muslims and Christians

Islam and Christianity are two of the world’s major religions and consist almost half of the global population today. Peace and understanding among members of these two traditions is crucial for world peace. Therefore, beside theological deliberations, there is a need for more concrete topics of dialogue among them. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is probably the most important topic that brings together Muslims and Christians. Biblical and Qur’anic narratives on Mary are very similar. Mary is an ideal woman, filled with grace, blessed and preferred among all other woman and she is the mother of the Messiah. Mary’s submission and prayers to God can be a significant model in bridging Muslims and Christians for a meaningful dialogue and respect. Many Muslim scholar s trace Mary’s genealogy to Moses, another common Biblical and Qur’anic figure. Mary is the only female name that is mentioned in the Qur’an and an entire Qur’anic chapter is named after her. She is regarded as a perfect example of piety and humility. Regardless of the evil treatment by her community, she remained faithful to God but also stayed unselfishly concerned for her own people. To honor her, Lebanon, for example, announced March 25, as the day of the Feast of the Annunciation making it a national public holiday, celebrated by Christians and Muslims every year. This paper will review many aspects of Muslim interpretations of Mary, in comparison to Biblical understanding. The paper will highlight aspects of her devotion, discuss her deference, patience and compassion, virtues that are shared by Muslims and Christians. Also, the paper will highlight her probability of being a prophetess, something that challenges the patriarchal understanding of prophecy being limited to men. (Salih, University of Dayton. Mary: The Bridge between Muslims and Christians. 2019 SBL INTERNATIONAL MEETING ABSTRACTS. July 4, 2019, Rome, Italy)

Notice also the following:


February 20, 2021

VATICAN CITY ( - The Pontifical International Marian Academy (PAMI) is promoting the Blessed Virgin as a bridge reconciling Islam and Catholicism following the Abu Dhabi pact between Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyeb.

On Thursday, the Marian academy in Rome launched a 10-week webinar series titled "Mary, a model for faith and life for Christianity and Islam" in collaboration with the Grand Mosque of Rome and the Islamic Cultural Center of Italy.

Based on his belief that Mary is "a Jewish, Christian and Muslim woman," Fr. Gian Matteo Roggio, organizer of the Muslim-Catholic dialogue series on Our Lady, is seeking to mobilize Mary as a model of "open borders" between religious and multicultural worlds.

Mary responds "to the genetic codes of Judaism, Christianity and Islam," affirms Roggio, a member of the religious order of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, writing in the Italian liberal Catholic periodical Famiglia Cristiana.

Islamic historian Raymond Ibrahim told Church Militant that "this series is yet another attempt to try to convince Catholics that Islam is somehow similar to their Faith when, in fact, Islam appropriates the names and sacred auras of biblical figures but then recasts them with completely different attributes -- ones that reaffirm Islam as the 'true' faith."

Ibrahim, a prolific writer, and the author of recent bestseller Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War Between Islam and the West, explained:

For example, the series' organizers insist that Mary was a "Jewish, Christian and Muslim woman," which is only two-thirds true: Yes, she was a Jew by race and background, and yes, she was a Christian in that she literally birthed Christ(ianity), but she was most certainly not a Muslim -- a term and religion that did not exist until 600 years after the end of her earthly life.

"Worse, far from being the Eternal Virgin, as she is for 1.5 billion Christians -- Catholics and Orthodox -- Islam presents Mary, the Mother of Christ, as 'married' to and 'copulating' with Muhammad in paradise," Ibrahim revealed.

In an article for Frontpage Magazine titled "Muhammad and the Virgin Mary: A Match Made in Heaven?" Ibrahim cited a hadith (Islamic canonical tradition) wherein Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, declares: "Allah will wed me in paradise to Mary, daughter of Imran." ...

Egypt's former deputy minister of religious endowments, Dr. Salem Abdul Galil, openly declared that among other biblical women like Moses' sister and Pharaoh's wife, "Our prophet Muhammad -- prayers and peace be upon him -- will be married to (the Virgin) Mary in paradise."

Since many in Islam have a special reverence for Mary, I have long suspected 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 in the late 20th century 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. 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:// 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. (

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; see also Hull. England's Fall is Babylon's Triumph: An Original Interpretation of the Apocalypse, with a Special Reference to the Greek Church. J. Pulleyn, 1855. Original from The British Library, pp. 78-94)

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 <>)

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. 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. 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":


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.

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. 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" 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 5-14-00. 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.) 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" ( and ""...The Third Secret, My child, is that satan would enter into My Son's Church." - Our Lady, May 13, 1978" (

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 (

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 Lucia 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. 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.””

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 Lucia, 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.

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.

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.

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, 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 Castello: . . . 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.

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.

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

Lady of All Nations?

Notice the following:

Rome Newsroom, Jul 11, 2024 / 11:40 am

The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith on Thursday released new information about its 1974 ruling on alleged apparitions in Amsterdam connected to the “Lady of All Nations” devotion.

The DDF said July 11 that due to “persistent doubts” about the alleged Dutch apparitions, which took place in the 1940s and 1950s, it was revealing that in 1974, the doctrinal office voted unanimously that they were not supernatural and would not be further investigated.

While the Vatican’s judgment on the non-supernatural nature of the apparitions has been known for 50 years, the DDF divulged for the first time that the decision involved a unanimous negative vote by the cardinals participating in the doctrine office’s ordinary session on March 27, 1974. ...

“The Lady of All Nations” is the Marian title given to alleged visions that Ida Peerdeman, a secretary living in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, claimed to have received between 1945 and 1959.

In 1956, Bishop Johannes Huibers of Haarlem declared that after an investigation he had “found no evidence of the supernatural nature of the apparitions.” ...

The bishop said that the Vatican regarded the title “Lady of All Nations” for Mary as “theologically acceptable,” but “the recognition of this title cannot be understood — not even implicitly — as the recognition of the supernaturality of some pheno­mena from which it seems to have come.”

Alongside the clarification, the bishop issued a further explanation that “devotion to Mary as the Lady and Mother of All Nations is good and valuable; it must, however, remain separate from the messages and the apparitions.” 

So, while an apparition that the Vatican considers to be false came up with the title Lady of All Nations, the Church of Rome wants to continue to use that title, but wants to claim it is not related to the false apparition. Bizarre.

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.

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.

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.

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 Roman 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).

Notice also the following:

May 20, 2016

Pope Francis, in an interview with the French newspaper La Croix, . . . said "co-existence between Christians and Muslims is still possible," citing his own growing years in a country "where they co-habit on good terms." And he pointed to the many instances he’s personally experienced when Muslims have formed long lines just to attend Christian events.

"[I’ve seen] Muslims come to venerate the Virgin Mary and St. George," he said. "Similarly, they tell me that for the Jubilee Year, Muslims in one African country formed a long queue at the cathedral to enter through the holy door and pray to the Virgin Mary. In Central Africa, before the war, Christians and Muslims used to live together and must learn to do so again. Lebanon also shows that this is possible."

Pope Francis is working to get the Muslims in and believes 'Mary' is part of the way to do it. Catholics want the Muslims, and Pope Francis is pushing this.

For centuries, there have been Catholic prophets that have uttered predictive statements related to Muslims and Protestants. 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 as sometimes they are the mirror image (opposite in certain ways) of biblical prophecies.

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 Roman 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)

Roman 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. 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.

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:


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. <>)

"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. Apparitions and turning towards Mary are parts of Satan's Plan.

Marianism, the view that any should pray to Mary or venerate statues of her, is idolatry.

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. Here is a link to another: Fatima and Pope Francis,

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Thiel B., Ph.D. Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions. (c) 2008/2009 /2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/2015/2016/2017/2018 2019 2020 2021 2024 0712