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Why Our Lady of the Pillar is the patroness of Spain and the Americas
By Alejandro Bermudez
Denver Newsroom, Oct 12, 2021 / 01:23 am
Our Lady of the Pillar (officially in Spanish, Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza,) is recognized as the first Marian apparition in the history of Christianity and is the only one that happened while the Virgin Mary was still alive.
Although it was technically a bilocation of Our Lady, because she was living with John the Apostle in Jerusalem, it is still regarded as an apparition by the tradition of the Church.
According to tradition, James the Greater, brother of Saint John the Evangelist, traveled with great effort to Roman Hispania (modern-day Spain) to evangelize the local tribes.
He not only confronted great difficulties but he also saw very little apostolic fruits of conversion. Tradition says that when he was at his lowest point of discouragement, in A.D. 40, while he was sitting by the banks of the Ebro river in Zaragoza (back then known as Caesaraugusta) Mary appeared to him accompanied by thousands of angels, to console and encourage him.
The Virgin Mary, with the Child Jesus in her arms and standing on a pillar, asked Saint James and his eight disciples to build a church on the site, promising that “it will stand from that moment until the end of time in order that God may work miracles and wonders through my intercession for all those who place themselves under my patronage.”
The church of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, is the first church dedicated to Mary in history and it remains standing to this day, having survived invasions and wars.
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) the Communists dropped three bombs on the church from an airplane, the bombs tore through the roof and hit the floor, but none of them exploded. The three now deactivated bombs are currently on display in one of the Basilica’s walls.
Our Lady is also said to have given the small wooden statue of the apparition to Saint James, which now stands on the pillar she arrived on.
The wooden statue is a relatively simple image 15 inches high, standing on a jasper pillar 5.9 feet tall. But the crown adorning her head is a masterpiece. It was made in 44 days by 33 workmen. The sun-like crown is made of 2,836 diamonds cut triangularly, 2725 roses, 145 pearls, 74 emeralds, 62 rubies and 46 sapphires. The crown of the baby Jesus is identical in shape although not in size.
The Basilica was redesigned and expanded several times during its history. The current structure was completed in the 17th century, includes 11 brightly colored tiled domes, and is the second biggest church in Spain.
Nuestra Señora del Pilar is not only the patroness of Spain, but also of all Hispanic peoples since it was on Oct. 12, 1492, the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, that Christopher Columbus arrived at American land and the first Mass in the Americas was celebrated.
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The Marian Apparitions You Don’t Know About
Our author looks at some of the lesser-known times mary has appeared to offer love and comfort to her children on earth.
There is consensus in the Catholic Church on the most important Marian apparitions: Rue du Bac, France (1830); La Salette, France (1848); Lourdes, France (1856); Fatima, Portugal (1917); more modern: Akita, Japan (1973); and Kibeho, Rwanda (1983). We assume we know them well, but we are sometimes misled by apocryphal texts that diametrically change the accents of the message (e.g., the false secret of Melania Clavat at La Salette). We also misunderstand apparitions as apocalyptic or political messages (e.g., Fatima, Akita).
Even some of the messages of apparitions with which we are familiar are sometimes hidden from us. Did you know that Virgin of Guadalupe’s image on St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin’s tilma is framed by a complex mandorla, which is normally reserved for Christ? This testifies to Mary’s role in salvation, as one who, united with her Son, shares his power and mission.
Unknown appearances of Mary
Additionally, there are hundreds of unknown or little-known Marian apparitions.
Marian apparitions have occurred since the beginning of Christianity. The historian Sozomen writes between A.D. 439 and 450 that the Church of Constantinople, led by St. Gregory of Nazianzus, was famous “for the frequent favors received there through manifestations of divine power. . . . This power was believed to come from the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. For this is the way she used to appear.”
Here are just a few of the unknown or little-known apparitions of Mary.
In Neocesarea, Turkey (A.D. 231), a young St. Gregory the Miracle Worker was elected bishop and made a retreat “to penetrate thoroughly with the mystery of faith.” One night he had a vision of St. John, who showed him the Mother of God, and from her lips he got an “explanation of the mystery of the true doctrine of faith.”
An anchorite named Cyriak lived in a hermitage on the Jordan River in the third century. He dreamed he saw a woman dressed in a purple robe standing outside his cell. It was Mary with John the Evangelist and John the Baptist. The ascetic urged them to come inside and be his guests. Mary replied: “You have my enemy in your cell, so how can you insist that I enter here?” With that, she disappeared. Later he found that a book he had borrowed did not conform to the teachings of Christ. He threw it into the fire, saying, “Never again may the enemy of our Lady, Holy Mother of God, be in my cell!”
In Cologne, Germany (1160), Mary for the first time gave her nuptial ring to a devotee, St. Joseph Herman. When he was a monk working in the refectory and complained that he had to minister at table and did not have much time for prayer, Mary appeared to him with these words: “There is no more honorable duty than to serve your brothers with love.”
In Quito, Ecuador (1582), Mary foretold the widespread corruption of morals and the mass departure of people from God. The dark vision presented to Sister Marianna ended with an unexpected chord of joy: Mary announced that “when it seems that evil has already overcome, it will be a sign of the coming of my hour. I will miraculously throw the proud and cursed Satan forever down from his throne.”
In Pontmain, France (1871) , on a winter day during the Franco-Prussian War, prayers and hymns led by parish priest brought the apparition of Mary in the sky. She left the message, “Pray, my children. God will hear you quickly. My Son allows himself to be touched.” The next day, the people of Pontmain learned that exactly during their prayers, Royal Bavarian general Otto von Schmidt, who was mustering to enter the region, had been ordered to withdraw. Some Prussian soldiers reported the sight of a female figure in the night sky. “Madonna guards this country and does not let us go forward,” they told their commanders.
In Marprigen, Germany (1876), Mary appeared during the Kulturkampf (culture clash) in which the Prussian government persecuted the Catholic religion. Many bishops and priests were imprisoned, and people manifesting their faith in public were severely punished. When the mayor sent soldiers to disperse the crowd of people praying on the spot of the apparition, Mary was asked: “Do you want to destroy your enemies?” She answered, “I have not come for this but to heal the sick and convert sinners.”
In Gietrzwałd, Poland (1877), also in a time of Kulturkampf , Our Lady answered every question, “Pray the rosary, and your problems will be solved.”
In Trois- È pis, France (1491), during prayer, a blacksmith named Thierry Schoere saw the Blessed Mother holding a stalk with three ears of corn in one hand and an icicle in the other . She said, “ Arise, brave man. See these ears? These are the symbols of fine harvests that will reward virtuous and generous people and bring peace and contentment in the homes of faithful Christians. As to the ice, it means hail, frost, flood, famine and all its attendant misery and desolation that will punish disbelievers with the gravity of their sins which tire the Divine Mercy. Go down to the village and announce to all the people the meaning of these prophecies .” But the blacksmith was afraid and said nothing to anyone. He bought a sack of wheat and, when he went to load it onto his cart, found he could not budge it. He called for people to help; they strained their arms to no avail. Then Thierry cried out: “O, Mother of great goodness, I have sinned! I confess it, unfortunate one.” The blacksmith’s words, supported by a tangible sign from heaven—the sack of wheat became light—convinced the townspeople of Mary’s presence, and they built a chapel on the site of the apparition.
The Pellevoisin apparition
Let me tell you about the apparition that is the most telling for me.
Twenty-three-year-old Estelle Faguette was dying from tuberculosis. We would never have heard about the maid from Pellevoisin, France, had she not written a letter in September 1875. It was addressed to the Holy Mother. The sick woman wrote, “I am falling at your feet, Mother of Mercy. You must listen to me. After all, I am your child and I love you! Obtain for me the grace of your Son. . . . To you, Most Merciful Mother, belongs my heart.”
The letter was full of entrustment, trust, and devotion. Estelle mentioned her parents and niece, who were dependent on her. The young woman was worried that after her death her father would have to beg for bread.
The Holy Mother came in response. But first, someone else appeared at the bed of the dying woman: Satan.
“On the night of February 14-15, a devil stood at the foot of my bed. As soon as he appeared, the Holy Mother appeared on the other side. I was scared—the devil looked terrible. However, when he noticed Mary’s presence, he took a step back to escape. . . . Our Lady asked: What are you doing here? Can you not see that she bears my mark and the mark of my Son?” He disappeared with a strange gesture. Then Our Lady spoke to me gently: ‘ Do not be afraid, because you are my child.’”
At fourteen, Estelle had joined the Children of Mary, an organization for young people between the ages of seven and eighteen who wish to consecrate themselves to Mary. Our Lady referred to this event from Miss Faguette’s youth: “Courage and patience. My Son takes special care of you. On Saturday you will either be dead or alive. If my Son allows you to live, I want you to announce my glory!”
The next night, Mary announced to Estelle, “Do not be afraid, I am with you. My Son shows you mercy. He allows you to live: on Saturday you will be healed. ” But Estelle didn’t want anymore to live; she wanted to die to be united forever with her heavenly Mother. “My Mother, if I am allowed to choose, I want to die, because I am prepared to die.” Mary replied with a smile: “Ungrateful, if my Son gives you life, he does it because you need it.” She added: “You touched my Son’s heart through your self-denial and patience. Don’t lose these fruits by making bad choices.”
Then Mary showed her the past. Estelle noted: “I was stunned to see the mistakes I had made that I had thought so far meant little.” Seeing the visionary’s sadness, Our Lady said, “All this is a thing of the past. Through your self-denial you have turned evil into good.”
Seeing the young woman still was sad, so Mary added, “Some good deeds and persevering prayers you offered me touched my motherly heart, especially that letter you wrote to me in September. I was most touched by the sentence: ‘ Look at the poverty of my parents. If I am absent, they will have to beg for bread. Remember the suffering that happened to you when your Son, Jesus Christ, hung nailed to the cross.’ I showed this letter to my Son. Your parents need you. Stay true to this task in the future. Do not lose the favors that have been given you and proclaim my praise.”
When Estelle was cured, the second part of the apparitions began. Our Lady brought the admonition: “I want you to be calmer, more filled with peace.” Later she said, “You missed the meeting with me on August 15, for there was no peace of mind in you.” (So one heavenly planned revelation did not take place because of the visionary’s lack of predisposition.)
Then the Blessed Virgin revealed the piece of linen she was wearing around her neck. It was a scapular with a red heart. “I love this form of piety,” she said.
The day Estelle made the first scapular, Our Lady appeared. “You haven’t wasted today,” she said. “You worked for me.”
The last apparition took place on December 8. Mary told Estelle, “You will never see me again.” “Then I cried,” wrote the visionary, “’What will happen to me, Holy Mother?’ She replied: “I will be with you but invisibly. . . . You needn’t be afraid of anything.”
Finally, Mary referred to the authority of the Church. When Estelle asked what to put on the other side of the scapular, she heard a voice: “You will think about it and then convey your thoughts to the Holy Church. She will decide.”
We may compare the Marian apparitions to a spiritual publication containing the personal message for every one of us. Paraphrasing Pope Benedict XVI, at least one of the messages “is a fresh outburst that appears in our life inspired by the Holy Spirit.” So we may conclude: if one of these visions touches our heart, everything in our life will change.
The Ten Most Famous Marian Apparitions
Our Lady of Pilar , Zaragoza, Spain (A.D. 40)
Mary, while living in Jerusalem, appears to St. James the apostle, who is preaching the gospel in Spain. She offers conversion “through the veneration of the Mother of God.”
Our Lady of the Scapular , Cambridge, England (1251)
The Church receives a scapular from Mary with a promise: “Whoever dies clothed in this garment will be saved.” At that time, a scapular was a garment for physical labor. Our Lady calls for work in her honor.
The Mother of the God of Truth , Guadalupe, Mexico (1531)
The Holy Virgin appears to the Indian St. Juan Diego and gives the bishop the proof of the truth of her revelation: her image. She affirms: “ Don ’t let your heart be troubled. . . . Are you not in my shadow and my protection?”
Madonna of the Miraculous Medal , Paris, France ( 1830)
Mary invites people that in times of “various anxieties” they come to the foot of the altar: “There the graces will flow to everyone.” Mary shows her the medal of the Immaculate Conception, later called the Miraculous Medal.
Weeping Mother of God , La Salette, France ( 1846)
Mary complains that people do not dedicate Sunday to God and that they blaspheme using God’s name. She promises: “If people convert, the rocks will turn to heaps of grain.”
Mary, Immaculate Conception , Lourdes, France (1856)
Our Lady confirms the truth of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception announced two years earlier. She calls people to great penance to save the world.
Madonna of the Messages , Fatima, Portugal (1917)
The Virgin Mary reveals the role of the rosary, calls people to put the end to sin, and promises God’s unconditional triumph in history.
Apocalyptic Madonna , Akita, Japan (1973)
Mary says that “to quench the wrath of the heavenly Father” heaven needs “souls to offer their lives for sinners.”
Mother of the Word , Kibeho, Rwanda (1981)
Mary announces that all Christians are called to prayer, penance, and obedience to the Church. She foreshadows the coming genocide in Rwanda.
Madonna of Kiev , Hrushev, Ukraine (1987)
Mary talks about the future of Ukraine, the shaky throne of Lucifer, and the need to pray for Russia. Today, for Archbishop Shevchuk, “The Blessed Virgin Mary has revealed God’s plan for Ukraine, that the evil empire will be overthrown, not by human actions but by God’s action.”
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Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain
Home » Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain
Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Zaragoza
The Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar (Spanish: Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar) is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Zaragoza, Aragon (Spain). The basilica venerates Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title Our Lady of the Pillar praised as “Mother of the Hispanic Peoples” by Pope John Paul II. It is reputed to be the first church dedicated to Mary in history.
Local traditions take the history of this basilica to the spread of Christianity in Roman Spain attributing to an apparition to Saint James the Great, the apostle who is believed by tradition to have brought Christianity to the country. This is the only reported apparition of Mary to have occurred before her believed Assumption.
Many of the kings of Spain, many other foreign rulers and saints have paid their devotion before this statue of Mary. Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Ávila, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and Blessed William Joseph Chaminade are among the foremost ones. The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is one of two minor basilicas in the city of Zaragoza, and is co-cathedral of the city alongside the nearby La Seo de Zaragoza. The architecture is of Baroque style, and the present building was predominantly built between 1681 and 1872.
History - Apparition of Pilar
According to ancient local tradition, soon after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Saint James was preaching the Gospel in Spain, but was disheartened because of the failure of his mission. Tradition holds that on 2 January 40 AD, while he was deep in prayer by the banks of the Ebro, the Mother of God appeared to him and gave a column of jasper and instructed him to build a church in her honor: “This place is to be my house, and this image and column shall be the title and altar of the temple that you shall build” City of God.
About a year after the apparition, James is believed to have had a small chapel built in Mary’s honor, the first church ever dedicated to her. After James returned to Jerusalem, he was executed by Herod Agrippa in about 44 AD, the first apostle to be martyred for his faith. Several of his disciples took his body and returned it for final burial in Spain. This first chapel was eventually destroyed with various other Christian shrines, but the statue and the pillar stayed intact under the protection of the people of Zaragoza.
Expansions - Romanesque Church
Numerous churches have been built upon this site through the years. The tiny chapel built by Saint James later gave way to a basilicalike enclosure during Constantine I’s time; subsequently being transformed into Romanesque, then Gothic then Mudéjar styles. The venerated shrines at Zaragoza date to the Christian Reconquest by King Alfonso I in 1118. A church in the Romanesque style was built under the pontificate of Pedro de Librana who is also credited with the oldest written testimonial to the Virgin at Zaragoza. A tympanum on the south wall of this Romanesque church still stands.
The Romanesque church was damaged by fire in 1434, and reconstruction began in the Mudéjar Gothic style. A Gothic-style church was built in the 15th century but only a few parts of it remain intact or were later restored, including the choir stand and the altarpiece in alabaster by Damián Forment.
The present spacious church in Baroque style was begun in 1681 by Charles II, King of Spain and completed in 1686. The early constructions were supervised by Felipe Sanchez and were later modified by Francisco Herrera the Younger under John of Austria the Younger. In 1725, the Cabildo of Zaragoza decided to change the aspect of the Holy Chapel and commissioned the architect Ventura Rodríguez, who transformed the building into its present dimensions of 130 meters long by 67 wide, with its eleven cupolas and four towers.
The area most visited is the eastern part of the chapel, because this is where the Holy Chapel by Ventura Rodríguez (1754) is built, which houses the venerated image of the Virgin. Around the Holy Chapel are the vaults or domes painted with frescoes by Francisco Goya: The Queen of Martyrs and Adoration of the Name of God. The gilding and other ornamentation throughout the building were designed and overseen by Goya’s father José. By 1718 the church had been vaulted over. However, it was not until 1872 that the final touches were put to these vaults, when the main dome and the final spire were finished.
During the Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939 three bombs were dropped on the church but none of them exploded. Two of them are still on show in the basilica. Notable choirmasters include the Baroque composer Joseph Ruiz Samaniego.
Pillar and the Image
The statue is wooden and 39 cm tall and rests on a column of jasper. The tradition of the shrine of El Pilar, as given by Our Lady in an apparition to Sister Mary Agreda and written about in Mystical City of God, is that Our Lady was carried on a cloud by the angels to Zaragoza during the night. While they were traveling, the angels built a pillar of marble, and a miniature image of Our Lady.
Our Lady gave the message to St James and added that a church was to be built on the site where the apparition took place. The pillar and the image were to be part of the main altar. The image was crowned in 1905 with a crown designed by the Marquis of Griñi, and valued at 450,000 pesetas (£18,750, 1910).
Our Lady of the Pillar
Our Lady of the Pillar (Spanish: Nuestra Señora del Pilar) is the name given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the context of the traditional belief that Mary, while living in Jerusalem, supernaturally appeared to the Apostle James the Greater in AD 40 while he was preaching in what is now Spain. Those who adhere to this belief consider this appearance to be the only recorded instance of Mary exhibiting the mystical phenomenon of bilocation. Among Catholics, it is also considered the first Marian apparition, and unique because it happened while Mary was still living on Earth.
This title is also associated with a wooden image commemorating the apparition, which is now enshrined at the Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain. Pope Callixtus III granted indulgences for visitors to the shrine in 1456. Pope Innocent XIII in 1730 mandated her veneration throughout the Spanish Empire. On 20 May 1905, Pope Pius X granted the image a canonical coronation.
Our Lady of the Pillar is considered the Patroness of Aragon and its capital Zaragoza, Hispanic people, the Hispanic world, and of the Spanish Civil Guard. Her feast day is 12 October, which coincides with Columbus Day, the national holiday of Spain.
History of Our Lady of the Pillar - Early Tradition
Catholic tradition holds that, in the early days of Christianity, the Apostles of Jesus spread the Gospel throughout the known world, with James the Greater evangelizing in Roman Hispania (modern-day Spain). He confronted great difficulties in his missionary efforts and faced severe discouragement. In AD 40, while he was praying by the banks of the Ebro at Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza), Mary bilocated from Jerusalem, where she was living at the time, and appeared to James, accompanied by thousands of angels, to console and encourage him.
Some of the earliest archaeological evidence of Marian devotion in Zaragoza is found in Christian tombs dating from Roman days, which appear to bear images representing the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. In the 4th century, the presence of votive images placed on columns or pillars is attested.
The oldest written testimony of devotion to the Blessed Virgin in Zaragoza is usually identified as that of Pedro Librana in 1155. There is evidence that the site attracted pilgrims from across the Iberian Peninsula during the 13th century, e.g. reflected in the work Milagros de Nuestra Señora by Gonzalo de Berceo, dated to the 1250s or early 1260s. The appellation Santa María del Pilar is attested for 1299. The claim that the first church had been the oldest in Hispania, built in AD 40 by James the Greater, is first recorded in 1318.
A book by Michael O’Neil (2015) called Exploring the Miraculous indicates that there are various traditions about earliest approvals by the church of this marian apparition. From his book: “For example, one of the great pilgrimage sites in Spain, Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, originating in a miracle and housing an ancient jasper Marian image on a column, did not always recognize Our Lady under this title.
According to the legend relating to the apostle St. James the Greater and his travels in Spain, on January 2 in the year 40, he was disheartened with his lack of success in proclaiming the gospel in Caesaraugusta (present-day Zaragoza) by the river Ebro, when he saw Mary (still alive at the time) miraculously appear on a pillar, comforting him and calling him to return to Jerusalem.
The first written mention of the Virgin of Zaragoza comes from a bishop in the middle of the twelfth century, and Zaragoza’s co-cathedral’s name did not originally include a reference to El Pilar, being called Santa Maria Mayor. In 1296, Pope Boniface VIII conferred an indulgence on pilgrims visiting this shrine but still without mention of Our Lady of the Pillar. One of the legal councils of Zaragoza first wrote about Our Lady under this title in 1299, promising safety and privileges to pilgrims who came to visit the shrine.
In 1456, Pope Calixtus III issued a bull encouraging pilgrimage to Our Lady of the Pillar and confirming the name and the miraculous origin. So, despite the lack of early extant texts about the miracle story and the name of this devotion, the enduring tradition delivers the story to us today.” In other interpretations, the tradition of the Marian apparition can be traced to the 15th century: In either 1434 or 1435, a fire destroyed the alabaster altarpiece. The replacement altarpiece features bas-relief representations of the Marian apparition. The image of the Virgen del Pilar venerated today also dates to this period. It executed in the late Gothic style of Juan de la Huerta.
Pope Calixtus III in a bull issued on 23 September 1456 declares a seven-year indulgence for those who visit Our Lady of Saragossa. The text of the bull specifically mentions a pillar, for the first time suggesting the existence of an image known as Our Lady of the Pillar. The feast day of 12 October was officially introduced by the Council of Zaragoza in 1640.
According to the account by María de Ágreda (d. 1665) in her Mystical City of God, Mary, mother of Jesus, was transported from Jerusalem to Hispania during the night, on a cloud carried by angels. During the journey, the angels also built a pillar of marble, and a miniature image of Mary with the Child Jesus.
Marian Apparition Approval
The Apparition of Our Lady of the Pillar was accepted as canonical by Pope Innocent XIII in 1723. So many contradictions[clarification needed] had arisen concerning the miraculous origin of the church that Spain appealed to Innocent XIII to settle the controversy. After careful investigation, the twelve cardinals, in whose hands the affair rested, adopted the following account, which was approved by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on 7 August 1723, and later inserted in the lessons of the office of the feast of our Lady of the Pillar, celebrated on 12 October:
Of all the places that Spain offers for the veneration of the devout, the most illustrious is doubtless the sanctuary consecrated to God under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin, under the title of our Lady of the Pillar, at Saragossa. According to ancient and pious tradition, St. James the Greater, led by Providence into Spain, spent some time at Saragossa. He there received a signal favour from the Blessed Virgin. As he was praying with his disciples one night, upon the banks of the Ebro, as the same tradition informs us, the Mother of God, who still lived, appeared to him, and commanded him to erect an oratory in that place.
The apostle delayed not to obey this injunction, and with the assistance of his disciples soon constructed a small chapel. In the course of time a larger church was built and dedicated, which, with the dedication of Saint Saviour’s, is kept as a festival in the city and Diocese of Saragossa on the 4th of October.
James returned to Jerusalem with some of his disciples where he became a martyr, beheaded in AD 44 during the reign of Herod Agrippa. His disciples allegedly returned his body to Spain. The year AD 40 is the earliest recognised Marian apparition in the Catholic Church, dating to a time when Mary, the mother of Jesus, was still alive.
Pope Clement XII allowed the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar all over the Spanish Empire in 1730. Since the feast day (12 October) coincides with the discovery of the Americas (12 October 1492), Mary was later named as Patroness of the Hispanic World under this title.
The building, which can be seen from the nearby Ebro River, is a large rectangle with a nave and two aisles, with two other all-brick chapels, thus giving the whole a typically Aragonese touch. It is illuminated by large oculi, characteristic of the monuments of the region from the 17th century onwards. Twelve enormous pillars support the vaults of the nave and aisles; the whole is topped by domes, as are the chapels.
The Chapels within the Basilica include:
- Chapel of the Rosary
- Chapel of Joachim
- Chapel of Saint Lawrence (Lorenzo)
- Chapel of Saint Pedro de Arbués
- Chapel of Saint Braulio
- Chapel of Saint Anthony
- Chapel of Saint Joseph
- Chapel of Saint Anna
- Chapel of Saint John
Organ and Music
The first organ was built in 1463 by Enrique de Colonia. In 1537, Martín de Córdoba built another organ with the intent to compete with the one at the La Seo. Guillermo de Lupe and his son Gaudioso restructured the larger organ between 1595 and 1602; he had done the same for an organ in the Cathedral of the Savior of Zaragoza in 1577.
In 1657, there were several organs in the church, of many sizes and offering many possibilities. As a result, the musical activity reached a peak in the Spanish Golden Age; however, it began to decline toward the end of the 19th century.
In the Middle Ages, a minstrel accompanied singers with a dulcian. Polyphony in the Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar was first documented in the mid-17th century, played by a “tenor” and a “contrabajón”. In the late 1600s, an orchestra composed of minstrels agreed to work for the Church of Santa María la Mayor, the predecessor of the cathedral-basilica.
El Pilar and Spanish Identity
The feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, celebrating the first apparition of Mary to Hispanic people, is on October 12. This coincides with the Día de la Hispanidad and the date of Columbus’s discovery of the New World.
Every nation of Hispanic colonial origin has donated national vestments for the fifteenth-century statue of the Virgin, which is housed in the chapel. Pope John Paul II praised El Pilar as “Mother of the Hispanic Peoples” during both his visits to the basilica. It was declared Bien de Interés Cultural in 1904.
Our Lady of the Pillar is a common motif of the Madonna and Child in Spanish art; extant examples other than the Saragossa image date from the Renaissance period onward. Depictions become especially numerous following the introduction of the feast day throughout the Spanish Empire in 1730.
Feast Day - 12 th October
The Annual Feast Day of Our Lady of the Pillar is celebrated on 12 October and she is the Patroness of the Hispanic peoples and the Spanish Civil Guard. A grand nine-day festival known as Fiestas del Pilar is celebrated in Saragossa (Zaragoza) every year in her honour.
The modern Fiestas del Pilar, as they developed since the 19th century, begin on the weekend preceding 12 October and they end on the Sunday after 12 October (i.e. they move between 5–13 and 11–19 October). They were declared as a “national holiday of touristic interest” (Fiesta de Interés Turístico Nacional) by the Ministerio de Comercio y Turismo in 1980.
- 12:00 (Noon)
Church Visiting Time
- Weekdays : 6:45 am to 8:30 pm
- Sundays : 6:45 am to 9:30 pm
Tel : +34 976 39 74 97
How to reach the Cathedral Basilica
Zaragoza International Airport near Zaragoza, Aragón, Spain is the nearby Airport to the Cathedral Basilica.
Plaza del Pilar-Murallas Tram Stop in Zaragoza, Spain is the nearby Tram Station to the Cathedral Basilica.
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Divine Mysteries and Miracles
Our lady of the pillar, zaragoza, spain, 40ad.
Soon after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Saint James was preaching the Gospel in Spain. (This also would have been around 10 years after Mary was taken to heaven. Other sources say that Mary was still alive and living in Palestine – so she bilocated!?) James was disheartened because of the failure of his mission in Spain. On January 2nd, 40 A.D., while he was deep in prayer by the banks of the Ebro, the Mother of God appeared to him and gave him a small statue of her image holding Jesus and also a column of jasper. (picture 1) She instructed him to build a church in her honor.
“ This place is to be my house, and this image and column shall be the title and altar of the temple that you shall build. The faith of the people will become as strong as this pillar ”
About a year after the apparition, James arranged to build a small chapel in Mary’s honor – the first church ever dedicated to the honor of the Virgin Mary. After James returned to Jerusalem, he was executed by Herod Agrippa in about 44 A.D. – the first apostle to be martyred for his faith. Several of his disciples took his body and returned it for final burial in Spain.
Although this first chapel was eventually destroyed along with various other Christian shrines, the statue and pillar stayed intact under the protection of the people of Zaragoza, Spain. Today, a Baroque-style church, completed in 1686, exists on this site and houses the precious items given to James by the Virgin Mary in 40 A.D.
During the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, three bombs were dropped on the church, but none of them exploded . Two of them are on display in the basilica today. (picture 2 and 3)
Apparitions, miracles, healings, artifacts, etc.
Category : Appearance of the Virgin Mary to St. James the Great in Zaragoza
This category has the following 3 subcategories, out of 3 total.
- Apparition of the Virgin of Pilar to Santiago and his disciples Zaragoza (2 F)
- The Apparition of the Virgin to Saint James the Great by Poussin (Louvre INV 7285) (7 F)
- Venida de la Virgen del Pilar by Pablo Serrano (35 F)
Media in category "Appearance of the Virgin Mary to St. James the Great in Zaragoza"
The following 10 files are in this category, out of 10 total.
- Marian apparitions in Spain
- Life and legends of Saint James the Greater
- Our Lady of the Pillar
- Uses of Wikidata Infobox
Towards the end of the 1st century BC, the ancient Celtiberian sacred site of Salduba was conquered by the Romans and renamed Caesaraugusta after the Roman Emperor. Called Saraqustah by the Arabs, the modern name of the city, Zaragoza, is a corruption of these earlier names. There are two primary sacred places within the city, the small shrine of Mary Magdalene shown in the foreground of the photograph, and the great Catedral Nuestra Senora del Pilar, in the background. This enormous basilica, dedicated to the Virgin of the Pillar, the patron of all Spain, marks the site of the first recorded Marian apparition in Europe. The Christian telling of the foundation legend relates that St. James the Apostle, the brother of St. John the Evangelist, spent the years following the crucifixion preaching in Spain. St. James the Apostle arrived in Zaragoza in 40 AD and upon a pagan standing stone saw a vision of Mary who instructed him to build a church. A chapel was soon constructed and it became a regional center for the conversion of the pagans. Because of its pre-Christian sanctity, its Marian apparition, and its importance as a commercial and political center, Zaragoza rapidly grew in size and religious importance. The early chapel was frequently enlarged following wars and fires, and the existing cathedral was erected, at the site of the original pillar, between the 17th and 18th centuries.
Throughout the centuries mysterious apparitions have frequently been observed around the pillar and large numbers of pilgrims, both Christian and neo-pagan, continue to visit the shrine. Each year on October 12, a small, 15th century statue of the Virgin is taken on a procession around the city. Few visitors to Zaragoza take the time to meditate in the nearby shrine of Mary Magdalene; for this author that is the more powerful (and certainly more quiet) place. Mary Magdalene, whose relics were originally stored at St. Maximin in France and later transferred to Vezelay, also in France, was highly venerated in the medieval ages. There were over 125 shrines dedicated to her worship and at least fifty of these also contained shrines to the Black Virgin. Readers interested in studying the subject of Black Virgins, Dark Goddesses and Mary Magdalene in greater detail will enjoy the books, The Cult of the Black Virgin , by Ean Begg; Shrines of Our Lady , by Peter Mullen; and Mary Magdalene: Christianity's Hidden Goddess , by Lynn Picknett.
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Our Lady of the Pillar – Zaragoza Spain
The church of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza is the first church dedicated to Mary in history.
This Marian apparition was the first one in the history of Christianity and is the only one that happened while the Virgin Mary was still alive. It was actually bilocation of Our Lady. She was living with John the Apostle in Jerusalem.
After Pentecost, the 12 Apostles left to preach the Gospel all over the world. St. James the Greater (Santiago) preached in the Iberian Peninsula in modern-day Spain. This is why we have the Camino de Sanitago, The way of St. James.
He was confronted with great difficulties and was discouraged that the pagans of that land were not responding to the Gospel and converting to Christianity. At this time, he had only a handful of converts to show for his labors. He was at his lowest point. (a lesson to us all, even the disciples had their low points) In the face of what he thought was a failure, he prayed! He gathered his disciples and prayed by the Ebro river in modern-day Zaragoza.
There on October 12 in the year 40 AD. Mary appeared to him accompanied by thousands of angels, to console and encourage him. She was holding Baby Jesus in her arms and she was standing on a pillar.
“According to one account, Our Lady had previously promised St. James that she would come to his aid when he needed it the most. In fact, it was she who sent James into that region of the Roman Empire to tell the people of Hispania about her Son, Jesus. And then, in his most desolate hour, when he was considering leaving his mission field, she comes to his rescue.” Gretchen Filz
She gave the pillar and a statue to St. James and asked that a church be built on the spot in her honor, using the two items for the altar.
“This place is to be my house, and this image and column shall be the title and altar of the temple that you shall build… and the people of this land will honor greatly my Son Jesus.”
As tradition says, she promised that,
“It will stand from that moment until the end of time in order that God may work miracles and wonders through my intercession for all those who place themselves under my patronage.”
St. James fulfilled this mission. He built a small chapel as Our Lady requested, by the Ebro river in Zaragoza, Spain.
It remains standing to this day, having survived invasions and wars.
One miracle of this apparition site and Holy Church is during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) the Communists dropped three bombs from an airplane on the church. They went through the roof and hit the floor but none of them exploded. These three bombs are currently on display in one of the Basilica’s walls, don’t worry they have been deactivated.
This church is the first known Marian shrine in history. It became known as Our Lady of the Pillar, or Nuestra Señora del Pilar. The chapel has been replaced by larger churches over the centuries, the present stunning basilica being erected in the 17th century.
What happened to St. James after Zaragoza
According to history, in the same vision, Our Lady also asked St. James to return to Jerusalem. Later in 44 AD, he met his martyrdom in Jerusalem and was beheaded. According to Armenian tradition, his head still remains in Jerusalem. We visit this church on our Jesus Trail Pilgrimage .
The rest of his remains were taken by his followers back to Compostela, Spain, where a chapel was built in his honor. The chapel was later replaced by the famous Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, the most visited Catholic pilgrimage destination outside of Rome and the Holy Land.
Join us in Spain or Virtually along the Ignatian Camino and visit this Holy Shrine in Zaragoza!
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History of Our Lady of Pilar in Zaragoza
The history of the shrine to Our Lady of Pilar in Zaragoza, Spain, goes back to the earliest years of Christianity.
Tradition dates the origin of the Our Lady of Pilar shrine in Zaragoza, Spain, to the year 40 A.D., when St. James the Apostle was sitting here on the bank of the Ebro River, discouraged and heartsick at his lack of success in bringing Christianity to the region.
The Virgin Mary appeared to him and reassured him that his efforts would not be in vain. She also asked him to consecrate a church in her name, and left behind a pillar of jasper to mark the spot where she had made her appearance.
As Mary promised, St. James was indeed successful in bringing Christianity to Spain, and the place of his encounter with the Virgin became a holy place. Through the centuries—including years when Zaragoza was under Muslim control, when it suffered from plague and famine, and through years of civil war and unrest—this site has continued to draw the faithful.
Holy men and women such as St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Ignatius of Loyola have all made the journey here to show their devotion to Our Lady of Pilar, who is the patroness of Spain.
The most prominent miracle associated with the shrine happened in the seventeenth century to a poor beggar named Miguel Juan Pellicer from the town of Calanda. Unable to work because of an amputated leg, he had a great devotion to the shrine and frequently prayed there for help. The Virgin Mary answered his prayers by restoring his missing leg, and after word spread of the miracle, the number of pilgrims to the church greatly increased.
Multiple church structures have occupied the site, each one larger than the one it replaced. Today the Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pilar , as it is formally known, includes 11 brightly colored tiled domes and is the second biggest church in Spain (only the cathedral in Seville is larger). construction was begun in 1681 under the direction of King Charles II.
Parts of its interior date back even farther, including a magnificent main altar of alabaster designed by Damian Forment in the fifteenth century. Two of the frescos that line its domes were painted by Goya, the famous eighteenth-century Spanish artist who was born in the nearby village of Fuendetodos.
Our Lady of Pilar came to international prominence when in 1492 Christopher Columbus landed in the New World on her feast day of October 12. She was subsequently named patroness of the New World.
In the early twentieth century, the shrine also played an important role in the founding of the Opus Dei movement. As a young seminarian in Zaragoza, St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, made daily visits to Our Lady of Pilar to pray for guidance. Opus Dei members continue to honor her feast day each year.
Main page for Zaragoza, Spain
Lori Erickson is one of America’s top travel writers specializing in spiritual journeys. She’s the author of The Soul of the Family Tree , Near the Exit and Holy Rover . Her website Spiritual Travels features holy sites around the world.
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A Basilica stands in the place of the 1st Marian apparition
Shutterstock | LorenaCirstea
The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, located in Zaragoza (Spain), holds a significant place in the hearts of Catholics worldwide. This majestic edifice is not only renowned for its architectural importance, but also because it is believed to be the place where the first Marian apparition occurred, around the year 40 –when Mary was still living in Jerusalem. This implies that the “apparition” was in fact an act of bilocation , instead.
The story goes all the way back to the 1st century, when the apostle St. James the Greater was preaching in the Iberian Peninsula. Tradition claims that he was facing immense challenges, so he went to look for some solace in prayer by the banks of the Ebro River. During his supplications, the Virgin Mary appeared to him, standing on a jasper pillar carried by angels. This extraordinary event marked the first recorded apparition of the Blessed Mother.
The Basilica is home to a very special sacred relic: the very pillar upon which Mary stood during her apparition . This revered column, made of jasper and measuring approximately 40 centimeters in diameter, stands prominently within the Basilica. The statue of Our Lady of the Pillar, perched on top of the pillar, is a magnificent representation of Mary with the Infant Jesus in her arms.
Over the centuries, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar has undergone several transformations – as is the case with most major European churches. The current Baroque-basilica was constructed between the 17th and 18th centuries and is a testament to the architectural prowess of that era: At its peak in 1810, the Spanish Empire (“the empire upon which the sun never sets”) covered over 13 million square kilometers – basically 10% of the world .
The ornate façade, adorned with intricate sculptures and delicate stonework, leaves visitors in awe. But inside the basilica, the grandeur continues. Lavish altarpieces, beautiful frescoes, and meticulously crafted stained-glass windows adorn the sacred space, providing a sense of solemnity and reverence. And still, the Chapel of the Holy Trinity, housing the revered Pillar, remains the focal point of devotion. Pilgrims from all corners of the world gather here to pay homage to the Blessed Mother and seek her intercession.
Every year, on October 12, the Basilica celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar , a grand occasion attracting thousands of devotees from all over the world – and from Spanish-speaking countries in particular. The feast is accompanied by processions, liturgical ceremonies, and heartfelt prayers, commemorating the apparition and expressing devotion to the Blessed Mother.
The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar stands as a symbol of faith and Marian devotion, attracting pilgrims and tourists alike. It is a testament to the enduring legacy of the first Marian apparition and a place where countless faithful find spiritual healing and inspiration alike.
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What are Marian Apparitions?
A Marian apparition is a supernatural appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a message for the world. Marian apparitions have led to conversions to Catholicism, a spread of devotions to Mary, and worldwide trips by millions of pilgrims to holy sites.
Many have claimed to be visited by Mary, but only a few have been fully approved by the Catholic Church (so far):
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Mexico city, mexico.
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to a Native American man, St. Juan Diego, in December 1531. She requested that a shrine be built at the spot of her apparition, on the outskirts of Mexico City. Willing to obey, Juan Diego went to the bishop.
The bishop did not believe him, wanting a sign to know that the apparition was real. Upon his return, Mary told Juan Diego to gather the flowers at the top of the hill and bring them to the bishop. Despite the winter, Juan found flowers in full bloom and gathered them in his tilma, a traditional outer garment worn by men in Central America.
Returning to the bishop, he released the flowers to the floor—revealing a beautiful image of Mary impressed upon his tilma.
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Revelations 12:1 (ESV)
Our Lady of Laus
1664 – 1718 a.d., laus, france.
Our Lady of Laus first appeared to a poor, uneducated shepherdess named Benoîte Rencurel in May 1664. For the next four months, this mysterious lady educated Benoîte about Catholicism, strengthening her spiritual life. Finally on August 29th, the lady revealed her identity: Mary, the Mother of God.
After an absence of a month, Mary appeared to her once more. She asked Benoîte to go to the neighboring village of Laus to find a chapel with a sweet odor. Finding the chapel of Bon-Rencontre in Laus the next day, Mary appeared on the altar asking that a church be built there for the conversion of sinners.
Between 1666 and 1669, the new church was built on top of the chapel. From 1665 onwards, tens of thousands of pilgrims flocked to Laus with Benoîte taking care of them. The new shrine led to numerous healings and conversions.
Our Lady of The Miraculous Medal
Rue de bac – paris, france.
On July 18th, 1830 Sister Catherine Labouré heard the voice of a child calling out to her. After finally getting out of bed, the child said:
“Come to the chapel. The Blessed Virgin awaits you.”
Heading to the convent’s chapel, Catherine sat and waited anxiously. Suddenly, Mary appeared. After a pause, Catherine could not hold back. She rushed over to Mary and rested her head on her lap. Then, she looked up into Mary’s eyes describing it as “the sweetest moment of her life.”
“My child,” said Our Lady, “the good God wishes to charge you with a mission.”
She explained to Catherine that Catherine would be tormented and contradicted. Evil and sorrows would overcome France, with the whole world being overcome by miseries. But, there was still hope:
“Come to the foot of the altar. There graces will be shed upon all, great and little, who ask for them. Graces will be especially shed upon those who ask for them.”
Our Lady continued to tell of the sorrows: Christ’s cross will be treated with contempt—hurled to the ground, the streets will stream with blood, and while she began to stream tears:
“My child, the whole world will be in sadness.”
Forty years later, her prediction would come true with the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War leaving France destroyed. Despite the sorrows, Mary assured Catherine personal protection against the coming evils through her intercession. Four months later, the Blessed Virgin returned in the image shown on this Miraculous Medal:
Mary began to explain the meaning. Standing in an oval frame, she wore rings of different colors, shining rays that represent her graces for those who ask. The frame revealed a phrase in French: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”
“Have a Medal struck after this model. All who wear it will receive great graces; they should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for persons who wear it with confidence.”
The scene rotated, revealing the back. A large M, topped with a cross adorns the image. Below show the hearts of Jesus and Mary, one with crowns and the other pierced by a sword.
Our Lady of La Salette
La salette, france.
On September 19th, 1848, 11 year old Maximin Giraud and 14 year old Mélanie Calvat were minding cows in a small village in Southeast France. While returning home, they encountered a bright light. In the light was a sitting woman, weeping into her hands. Maximin would later say: “She was like a mama whom her own children had beaten and who had escaped to the mountain to weep.”
The children approached. The unknown lady, while still crying, told the children about the trials of Her Son. She explained that she and Her Son are weary from the sufferings they have endured for humanity.
She lamented for those who work on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, rather than resting and praying. In addition, the cart drivers continued to swear with Her Son’s name. In the winters people attended Mass just to scoff at religion and in the summers ignored Mass altogether.
Our Lady explained that the potato famine across Europe the year before was a warning. If the people did not convert their hearts, more famine awaited them. If they do, then there will be an abundance of food. The famine never came, as many Catholics changed their ways after hearing of the apparition.
Our Lady of Lourdes
On February 11th, 1858 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous went out with her sister to fetch some firewood. After separating, she took her socks off to cross the stream. Suddenly she heard a sound like a gust of wind and looked up towards a grotto.
“I saw a lady dressed in white, she wore a white dress, an equally white veil, a blue belt and a yellow rose on each foot.” – St. Bernadette Soubirous
Bernadette prayed with her, and then the mysterious lady vanished. The next day, Bernadette returned and prayed. The lady appeared once again. Bernadette, wanting to make sure it was not a demon, sprinkled holy water on the apparition. The lady bent her head, smiled, and vanished at the end of the prayer.
After more days and apparitions, the lady began to speak to Bernadette. The lady demanded repentance for the sins of humanity. The crowd of witnesses grew by the hundreds, as Bernadette obeyed the lady by drinking muddy water and eating bitter herbs from the ground. She continued to kneel, pray, and kiss the ground out of humility while the crowds ridiculed her.
A girl named Catherine Latapie dipped her injured arm in the spring that Bernadette dug for the lady by the grotto. Her arm was instantly healed, the first of many miraculous healings to come. The lady requested that a church be built on the spot along with a prayer procession. A priest seeking to test Bernadette desired the lady’s name as proof.
23 days later came the reveal:
“She lifted up her eyes to heaven, joined her hands as though in prayer, that were held out and open towards the ground and said to me: Que soy era Immaculada Concepciou (I am the Immaculate Conception) .”
Speaking in Bernadette’s Occitan language, the lady revealed her identity. Bernadette had no idea what it meant, but she proclaimed it to all. The Immaculate Conception refers to Mary’s conception without original sin. The priests were troubled, as the Immaculate Conception was declared dogma by the Pope only four years earlier. A poor, uneducated girl in Southwest France could not known about this concept.
After rigorous examination by the Catholic Church and the French government, the apparitions received approval and a church was built on top of the grotto. Bernadette’s spring continues to be a source of healing. Of the thousands of proclaimed healings, 68 have been confirmed by the Lourdes Medical Bureau and the Catholic Church to be scientifically inexplicable miracles.
Our Lady of Hope of Pontmain
As predicted by Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, France fell into turmoil because of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). In 1871, the German states occupied two thirds of France and continued their surge. The small town of Pontmain in northwest France was next on the war path.
The local school teacher also could not see her, and called for two little girls: Françoise Richer and Jeanne-Marie Lebosse. They too could see her.
With the adults only able to see three stars forming a triangle, everyone prayed. As they also began to sing a hymn, the lady laughed and joined in. As they prayed to Jesus, sadness overcame the lady. A red crucifix appeared in her hands and she sorrowfully contemplated Her Son’s sacrifice. As the prayers came to a close, the lady vanished.
Our Lady of Knock
On August 21st, 1879, at about 8 o’clock, at night apparitions appeared in the village of Knock. Fifteen people ages 5 to 75, men, women, and children saw a vision of St. Joseph, the Blessed Virgin, St. John the Evangelist, and a lamb on an altar surrounded by angels.
Our Lady of Fátima
On May 13th, 1917 three children were shepherding their flock: Lucia (10) and her cousins Francisco (9) and Jacinta (7). Suddenly a bright light flashed the area. Thinking it was lightning, the children headed home. Then on top of a holly oak, “a Lady more brilliant than the sun” appeared to the children.
On the day of the last apparition, October 13th, about 70,000 were present. The Lady had promised a great miracle. The Lady called herself “Our Lady of the Rosary” and asked that a chapel be built there in Fátima. Then came the “Miracle of the Sun.”
The crowd witnessed the sun begin to change colors and spin like a wheel. They described the sun as dancing around beyond all laws of physics. People up to 40 kilometers away who had no knowledge of the miracle also saw the phenomenon. Some people, including believers, did not see it.
Our Lady also gave the children secrets. The first secret was a brief, horrifying vision of hell. The second secret predicted the end of World War I, the beginning of World War II, and the emergence of the Soviet Union. The third and final secret predicted the assassination attempt on St. John Paul II’s life.
Our Lady of Beauraing
1932 – 1933 a.d., beauraing, belgium.
On November 29th, 1932 five children ages 9-15 witnessed a lady dressed in a long white robe. Until January 3rd, 1933 the children would go on to see Our Lady 32 more times. Identifying herself as the “Immaculate Virgin,” During the apparitions, Our Lady would open her arms exposing her Immaculate Heart, golden and radiating bright rays.
Our Lady requested goodness, continuous prayer, and that a chapel be built for the conversion of sinners. Talking to one of the children, Fernande, Our Lady asked: “Do you love My Son?”
“Do you love me?”
“Then, sacrifice yourself for me.”
On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8th) a large crowd of about 15,000 gathered to witness the children. The five went into an ecstasy, only able to see and behold the glory of Our Lady. Doctors and psychologists examined the children, trying to get a reaction by pinching them, slapping them, and shining a flashlight in their eyes. They got no reaction. The children were wrapped up completely in the beauty of Our Lady.
Our Lady of Banneux
On January 15th, 1933, 11 year old Mariette Beco was in the kitchen when a lady appeared in the garden, beckoning her to come outside. Her mother would not let her.
Three days later, after praying in the garden Mariette went up the road. She heard the lady’s voice calling for her. Arriving at a pool of water from a spring, the lady told her to dip her hands into the water. Then the lady told her “This spring is reserved for me. Goodnight, goodbye.”
The next day, the weather was brutally cold as Mariette walked up the road. Our Lady appeared to her, identifying herself as “The Virgin of the Poor.” Again at the spring, the Virgin said, “This spring is reserved for all nations . . . for the sick.”
Over the next few weeks, Our Lady asked for a chapel to be built and told Mariette that she comes to relieve suffering, that people should believe in her, and that people should pray constantly. Since the apparitions, many miraculous cures have been attributed to the spring.
Despite being ridiculed by even her aunt and grandmother, Mariette maintained her story about the apparitions. She passed away on December 2nd, 2011 at the age of 90. 10 Her final words regarding the apparition: “I was no more than a postman who delivers the mail. Once this has been done, the postman is of no importance any more.”
- Vatican’s Official Biography of St. Juan Diego: Link
- Our Lady of Laus Sanctuary: Link
- Story of St. Catherine: Link
- La Salette Missionaries, Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas: Link
- Our Lady of Lourdes Sanctuary: Link
- Our Lady of Pontmain Sanctuary: Link
- Knock Shrine: Link
- Fátima Sanctuary: Link
- “I Will Convert Sinners”: Link
- Shrine of Our Lady of Banneux: Link
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Marian Pilgrimages to Portugal, Spain and France
When you experience the blessings of Marian Pilgrimages at monasteries nestled in the cliffs
When you feel the vibration of Gregorian Chant deep in your soul
When you hear of the Miracle of the Sun You will be changed forever.
At the core of Marian Pilgrimages are apparitions and miracles associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Among the most beloved sites for Marian Pilgrimages include Our Lady of Fátima, Our Lady of Lourdes, The Sanctuary of Black Virgin of Montserrat, and The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, in Zaragoza Spain.
Regardless if you wish to bathe in the healing spring water at Lourdes, hear the story of the three children, Lúcia Santos, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, who were visited by Virgin Mary, or listen to Gregorian Chants in Montserrat, each site brings its special blessing.
An 11-Day Marian Pilgrimage
Including Lisbon, Santarem, Fatima, Coimbra, Santiago de Compostela, Avila, Madrid, Zaragoza, Lourdes, Manresa, Montserrat, Barcelona & more.
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Chronological Table of Marian Events
- All About Mary
– Compiled By: Sister Isabell Naumann and Richard Lenar
1st Century | 2nd Century | 3rd Century | 4th Century | 5th Century
6th Century | 7th Century | 8th Century | 9th Century | 10th Century
11th Century | 12th Century | 13th Century | 14th Century | 15th Century
16th Century | 17th Century | 18th Century | 19th Century | 20th Century
21st Century | References
40 January 2nd—Apparition of Mary to Apostle James the Greater in Zaragoza, Spain. She appears on a pillar. All About Mary: Our Lady of Pilar
54-57 First allusion to Mary in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (4:4)
60-70 Mary mentioned twice in Mark’s Gospel
75-106 Matthew and Luke's Gospels [first and second chapters] , Luke Acts (1:14) and John’s Gospel (2:3-12; 6:42; 19:25-27) show Mary’s presence in the life of Jesus and the early Christian Community
90-100 Mary and the Church are both symbolized in the image of the woman in the Book of Revelation (chapter 12)
100-200 Inscription under St. Peter's Basilica in Rome depicts Mary as Protectrix for the departed and their Advocate.
110-115 In his letters, Ignatius of Antioch makes five references to Mary as Virgin and Mother. (To the Ephesians: 7.2, PG 5, c 757; 18.2, PG 5, c 752; 19.1, PG 5, c 753; Trallians 9.1-2, PG 5, c 788-89; Smyrnaeans 1.1, PG 5, c 840-41)
120 Odes of Solomon mentions the Virgin who gives birth (Ode XIX).
145 Aristides of Athens cites Mary in a creedal formula ( Apology 2, 4 ). http://earlychristianwritings.com/text/aristides-kay.html
150-165 Justin Martyr in the Dialogue with Trypho (PG 6, c 709-12 100) brings the comparison between Eve and Mary (Eve-Mary Parallel). "For Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the word of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy, when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy Thing begotten of her is the Son of God; and she replied, 'Be it unto me according to your word.' (Luke 1:38) And by her has He been born, to whom we have proved so many Scriptures refer, and by whom God destroys both the serpent and those angels and men who are like him; but works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him." ( http://newadvent.org/fathers/01287.htm )
150-155 Composition of the Protoevangelium of James (also known as the “Gospel of Mary”). This Christian apocryphal text contains details about devotion to, Mary and is the source of the names of Mary’s parents and traditions regarding her childhood and early life.
150-200 Inscription of Abercius, Bishop of Hieropolis, alludes to Mary's virginity, holiness, and relationship to the Holy Eucharist. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/abercius.html
150-202 Irenaeus of Lyons points to Mary’s role in the economy of salvation. Mary is causa salutis (Adv. haer. 3, 22; PG 7, c 959-60) and advocata Evae (Adv. haer. 3, 22; PG 7, c 1175 76) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08130b.htm
155-202 Tertullian affirmed that Mary conceived Christ as a Virgin ( De carne Christi 21, 5; PL 2, c 833-34) and stressed the Eve-Mary parallel ( De carne Christi 17, 5; PL 2, c 828).
162 The Sibylline Oracles speak admiringly of Mary (VIII, 609-28). http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/sib/
Late 2nd Century Early representations of Mary in the catacombs
Late 2nd Century Clement of Alexandria calls Mary the Mother of the Lord ( Stromata 6, 15; PG 9, c 349) and is a witness to the Church's faith in Mary's perpetual virginity ( Stromata 7, 16; PG 9, c 529-30). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04045a.htm
200 The North African Church Father, Tertullian, affirms that proper belief about Mary is necessary to affirm the humanity of Christ. ( De carne Christi 20, 1; c 830-31)
200-250 Origen is probably the first Church Father to explain the meaning of the title Theotokos ( History of the Church 7, 32; PG 67, c 812) and defends the perpetual virginity of Mary ( Commentary on John 1, 4; PG 14, c 32; Homilies on Luke 6, 3-4; PG 13, 1814-15). All About Mary: Dogmas, Marian ; Theotokos, Meaning of
200-350 Composition of the prayer Sub tuum praesidium –the oldest Marian prayer. All About Mary: Sub Tuum Praisidium Prayer
220 Founding of Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome by Pope Callixtus I (217-222)
235 Death of Hippolytus of Rome, who alluded to the Blessed Virgin Mary, mainly in the context of the Incarnation ( Christ and Antichrist 4; PG 10 c 732). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07360c.htm
250 St. Cyprian of Carthage indirectly extols Mary's virginity (Is. 7:14; Gen. 3:15) (CSEL 3:1, 73f)
306-373 Ephrem the Syrian known for his poetic writings about Mary; implores Mary’s power of mediation ( Oratio ad Deiparam ; EnchMar 341) http://catholicism.about.com/od/tothevirginmary/qt/Praise_BVM.htm
318-322 Emperor Constantine publicly honors Mary through the construction of a basilica on Vatican Hill whose façade includes a mosaic exalting Mary, Jesus and Peter. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04295c.htm
325-403 Epiphanius of Salamis is the first known writer who interprets the Woman of the Apocalypse (Revelation Chapter 12) as Mary (PG 42, c 716), and he is also the first to consider the question of the end of Mary’s earthly existence (PG 41, c 777); He refutes Marian heresies (PG 42, c 700-56). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13393b.htm ; All About Mary: Revelation, Mary in the Book of ; All About Mary: Death of Mary
328-373 Athanasius’ term as bishop of Alexandria, when he bestowed upon Mary the title: Theotokos, and pointed out that Mary’s virginal conception of Jesus is proof of Jesus’ divinity (PG 25, c 109). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02035a.htm
330-379 St. Basil of Caesarea refers to Mary’s womb as a ‘workshop’ ( In Sanctam Christi Generationem ; PG 31, c 1464 A) and affirmed her marriage to Joseph ( In Sanctam Christi Generationem ; PG 31, c 1464 A-C.) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02330b.htm
330-389 St. Gregory Nazianzen held that Mary’s divine motherhood is key to the Church’s doctrine about the Incarnate Word and mystery of human salvation ( Sectio II. Poemata Quae Spectant Ad Alios ; PG 37, c 1565 D-1566 A). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07010b.htm
339-397 Ambrose of Milan speaks of Mary as type of the Church: Expositio in Lucam 2, 7: PL 15, c 1555), 410. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01383c.htm
342-419 St. Jerome, in On the Perpetual Virginity of Mary against Helvidius , defends the Perpetual Virginity of Mary using scripture, affirms her great holiness and develops Marian typology in the Old Testament ( De perpetua virginitate Mariae adversus Helvidium : PL 23 c 183-206). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08341a.htm ; All About Mary:Dogmas, Marian
344-407 St. John Chrysostom emphasizes transcendence of the mystery of the Son of God the Father by becoming incarnate in the womb of Mary ( In Matthaeum, Homilia 4, 3: PG 57 c 43). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08452b.htm
348-387 St. Cyril of Jerusalem, during his term as bishop, wrote that Mary re-established women’s equality with men ( Catechesis 12, 29; PG 33, c 761 B-C); he inaugurates the Byzantine homiletic technique of teaching Marian truths by means of praises addressed to the Blessed Virgin. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04592b.htm
350 Early recorded invocation of Mary by St. Justina (Gregory Nazianzen Oratio 24; PG 35, c 1181).
350-390 St. Gregory of Nyssa composes and distributes a Marian prayer that is a precursor of the Hail Mary; also chronicles first recorded Marian apparition to St. Gregory the Wonderworker (PG 46, c 912). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07016a.htm
350-400 Bishop Severian of Gabala officially and publicly solicits prayers to Mary ( Oratio 6, 10 In Mundi Creatione ; PG 56, c 497).
352 Legend of Our Lady of the Snows during the pontificate of Liberius (352-366). All About Mary: Our Lady of the Snows
352-366 Founding of Saint Mary Major under Pope Liberius I
368 Death of St. Hilary of Poitiers, who extolled human-divine motherhood and perpetual virginity of Mary; associates Mary with Christ in the messianic prophecies ( In Matthaeum 1, 2-4; PL 9, c 920-922). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07349b.htm
370 Earliest liturgy of Mary composed in Syria; St. Ambrose of Milan speaks of Mary as a model of women and virginal life ( De virginibus 2, 6-16; PL, 220-22) and a type of the Church ( Expositio in Lucam 2, 7; PL 15, c 1635-1636). http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01383c.htm
380-450 Life of St. Peter Chrysologus, who defended Mary’s virginity ( Sermo 143, 7; PL 52, 584; Sermo 117, 3; PL 52, 521), spoke of Joseph’s unique role ( Sermo 145, 1; PL 52, 588-89), and wrote homilies about the Annunciation, Incarnation and Christmas. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11762c.htm
392 Pope St. Siricius, in a letter to Bishop Anysius, defends the perpetual virginity of Mary (Letter 9 to Anysius against Bonosus 3-4; PL 13 c 1177-1178). All About Mary: Marian Teachings, Pre-Early Modern Period
394 Augustine of Hippo speaks of Mary as most excellent member and type of the Church ( De Verbis Evangelli Matth , Sermo 25, 7; PL 46, c 938); proclaims Mary free from original sin ( De natura et gratia 36, 42; PL 44, 267) and exalts her status as Virgin and Mother ( De sancta virginitate 6, PL 40 c 399)
394 Death of Gregory of Nyssa, who insisted on the reality of Mary’s motherhood ( Against Apollinaris 6, PG 45, c 1136 C-D) and drew an analogy between Moses seeing the burning bush without being consumed and Mary’s virginity (On the Birth of Christ, PG 46, c1133 D-1136 B)
400 Santa Maria Antiqua Church founded in Rome in the Forum. The church contains the earliest Roman depiction of Santa Maria Regina. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Maria_Antiqua
400 Earliest copy of the Transitus of Mary is written.
Early 5th Century Church of Mary in Ephesus is probably one of the earliest local Marian churches. http://www.ephesus.us/ephesus/the_double_churches.htm
400-500 Temple of Isis at Soissons, France dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, 400-500 Feast of the Annunciation celebrated in Byzantium, 400-500 Introduction of the Feast of the Commemoration of the Virgin Mary throughout Europe 400-500 Feast of the Hypapante (encounter between Christ and Simeon) celebrated.
431 Council of Ephesus proclaims Mary as Theotokos http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05491a.htm All About Mary: Theotokos, Meaning of
432 Dedication of the enlarged and restored Church of Saint Mary Major/Rome by Pope Sixtus III
440-461 Introduction of Marian reference in the Eucharistic prayer of the Leonine Sacramentary, ("In communion with and venerating in the first place the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of God. ...")
440-461 Pontificate of Pope Leo the Great, who applied Old Testament text to Mary ( Sermo 22, 1; PL 54, 194; Sermo 24, 1; PL 54, 204) and develops concept of Mary as a type of the Church http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09154b.htm
ca. 445 Icons attributed to St. Luke, eventually known as the Hodegetria, begin to appear All About Mary: Contemporary Spirituality (see full text, page 50 of pdf "D. A 'Triplex Via Mariana'")
ca. 446 Death of Theodotus of Ancyra, who proposed that Mary’s marriage to St. Joseph protected Mary’s virginity ( In Die Nativitatis Domini, Homily 5, 3; PG 77, c 1414 B) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14579a.htm
451 Pope Leo the Great in his Tomus ad Flavianum uses the reality of Mary’s motherhood of Christ to guarantee the authenticity of Christ’s human nature and to distinguish the two natures of Christ. (Epistola 28; PL 54 c 755-782) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09154b.htm
451 Empress Pulcheria of Byzantium begins a collection of relics of Mary
473 Preservation of Mary’s holy head dress, the Maforion, in the Church of the Blachernae (Byzantine and Armenian rites) celebrated as a feast. http://forosdelavirgen.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/maphorion.jpg http://www.byzantium1200.com/blachernae.html
500-600 Parthenon (temple of Athena) in Athens dedicated to Mary
500-600 Dedication of Saint Mary Antiqua in Rome
500-600 Tradition of Mary with Child Jesus established in iconography. All About Mary: Icons
520-556 Syrian poet St. Romanos the Melodist composes our greatly used Marian hymns http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13154a.htm
530-600 Life of Venantius Fortunatus, through song, elevates Mary about all great women of the Old Testament ( Carmina miscellanea 2, 2; PL 88, 88) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06149a.htm
534 Pope John II, in his letter to the Senate of Constantinople, declares that Mary is “truly the Mother of God” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08421b.htm
538-594 Life of Gregory of Tours, who collected written accounts of miracles associated with Mary’s intercession ( Libri Miraculorum PL 71) and wrote about the mystery of Mary’s Assumption into heaven ( Libri Miraculorum 1, De Gloria beatorum martyrum 4; PL 71, c 708) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07018b.htm
540-604 Life of St. Gregory the Great, who identifies Mary with Isaiah 2:2 ( In I Regnum 1 , 5; PL 79, c 25), affirmed her superiority above all men and angels ( Moralia 33, 8; PL 76, c 671)and spoke of a Marian apparition as a fact ( Dialogi 4, 18; PL 77, c 348-49) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06780a.htm
543 Dedication of church to Saint Mary in Jerusalem
550 Celebration of the Feasts of the Birth of Mary, the Presentation of Jesus, and the Dormition in Byzantium
550 Greek philosopher Oecumenius gives first completely Marian interpretation of Revelation 12
550-600 Theoteknos, Bishop of Livias, gives earliest affirmation of belief in the bodily assumption of Mary ( Encomium 9; see Wenger 276)
553 Second Council of Constantinople reiterates dogma of Mary’s Divine Motherhood and mentions Mary’s perpetual virginity (Can. 6; DS 218) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04308b.htm
590-604 Pope Gregory the Great writes about important aspects of Marian devotion and describes theological principles which make Marian devotion legitimate. (Epist 9, 52; PL 77, 990-91)
600 Introduction of the Akathistos Hymn in the East. The Akathist par excellance was written in the sixth century to the Theotokos. In its use as part of the service of the Salutations to the Theotokos (used in the Byzantine tradition during Great Lent), it is often known by its Greek or Arabic names, Chairetismoi (Rejoicings) and Madayeh, respectively. In the Slavic tradition it is known as Akafist.
600-636 St. Isidore of Seville writes knowingly about Mary and calls her “sanctuary of the Holy Spirit” ( De ortu et obitu Patrum III ; PL 83, c 148 C) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08186a.htm
610 Byzantine Emperor Heraclitus places the image of Mary on the masts of the ships of his fleet
649 Council of the Lateran declares the perpetual virginity of Mary (Can. 3; DS 256)
ca. 650 Mary is mentioned in the Quran. (Surah 3, ayah 47 supports Mary's virginity. See also surah 66, ayah 12; it dedicates a surah 19 to Mary under the name Maryam)
650 Celebration of the Annunciation (March 25) and the Assumption (August 15) in Rome
650 Celebration of the Feast of the Purification (February 2)
675-700 Celebration of the Feast of the Birth of Mary
680-681 The Third Council of Constantinople reaffirms Mary's Divine Motherhood (DS 290)
700-800 Possible composition of the Ave Maris Stella . All About Mary: Star of the Sea http://www.preces-latinae.org/thesaurus/BVM/AveMarisStella.html
700-733 St. Germanus I of Constantinople proposes that we do "not need any other mediator in God's presence" ( Homily on the Cincture , PG 98, c 380 B) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06484a.htm
700-740 St. Andrew of Crete invokes Mary as “Help of Christians” ( Homily 4 on Mary's Nativity , PG 97, c 880 C) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01473b.htm All About Mary: Help of Christians
700-749 St. John Damascene gives clearest teaching on the Immaculate Conception up to his day Homily on the Nativity 2; PG 96, c 664 A). He produces a synthesis of Marian teaching for the Eastern Church (Treatise on the Orthodox Faith); these writings are the basis for later Marian theological work during the Middle Ages. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08459b.htm http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/mary19-2.htm
705-707 Pope John VII earns the title “Servant of the Mother of God” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08423b.htm
750 The Legend of Theophilus is translated into Latin. Theophilus was an archdeacon in Cilicia who sold his soul to the Devil. He repented and asked Our Lady to rescue him from his pact. http://traditioninaction.org/religious/h007rp.Theophilus.html
787 The Second Council of Nicaea defines regulations for the veneration rendered to images of Mary (DS 302) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11045a.htm
800 Originally part of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew; the Gospel of Mary’s Nativity makes its appearance as independent work.
800-900 Feast of the Conception of St. Ann was instituted at Byzantium
ca. 802 Alcuin composes Masses in honour of Our Lady on Saturday and for other weekdays, which become part of the Missal in 875. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01276a.htm
804 The Marian cathedral (Marienmünster) in Aachen, built by Charlemagne, is dedicated by Pope Leo III. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marienm%C3%BCnster
845-869 St. Paschasius Radbert upholds the Virgin Birth (De partu Virginis 1; PL 120, c 1373 D-1374 A; see also Ibid., 2; PL 129, c 1385 A) , the Assumption of Mary’s soul (Cogitis me; PL 30, c 123) , and a form of Mary’s Immaculate Conception ( De partu Virginis 1, PL 120 1372 A) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11518a.htm
ca. 851 The Story of the Birth of Mary is composed and is attributed to St. Paschasius Radbert
867-870 Dedication of the Saturdays to Mary (see Missale Romanum)
867-870 Fourth Council of Constantinople renews approval of the “cult images rendered to Mary” (DS 337)
876 Charles the Bold obtains what is believed to be the dress of Mary
c. 900 The Protecting Veil, apparition of Mary in Constantinople. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protection_of_the_Mother_of_God
900-1000 Gregory V (996-998) composes the antiphon, Regina Coeli. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06790a.htm ; All About Mary: Antiphons
900-1000 Introduction of The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg in the Cathedral of Verdun
900-1000 Translation of the Transitus Mariae' stories from Greek into Latin.
900-1000 The Liber Transitus Mariae originated in the 4th-5th centuries contains a legend about Mary's death and assumption to heaven.
945 Title “Mother of Mercy” spreads throughout the West after being mentioned in the Life of Odo by John of Salerno
963 St. Athanasius the Athonite establishes a monastery dedicated to the Mother of God on Mt. Athos peninsula in Greece; icon of Our Lady of Iveron transported to Mt. Athos monastery
975 Dedication of the Saturdays to Mary
975 Foundation Montserrat Abbey in Spain, which becomes a shrine with a Black Madonna http://www.abadiamontserrat.net/(S(q2tjoafdksfn2rkfkkk2tlkr))/Espiritualitat/Angles/monestir.aspx?newsid=10
988 According to one account, the Icon known as Our Lady of Czestochowa was brought from Constantinople to Kiev
1000-1100 Introduction of Feast of Mary's Compassion,
1000-1100 Composition of Hail Holy Queen ,
1000-1100 Start of the building of Notre Dame Cathedral in Chartres/France http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/-English-
ca. 1028 St. Anthony of Kiev establishes a monastery dedicated to Mary’s Assumption
1050-1150 Composition of the antiphons, Alma Redemptoris Mater and Salve Regina attributed to Hermann the Lame All About Mary: Antiphons
1050-1150 Building of the church of Our Lady of Walsingham/ England http://www.marypages.com/Walsingham.htm
1050-1072 St. Peter Damian establishes a connection between Mary and the Eucharist ( Sermo 45; PL 144, 743 C) and also promotes the Little Office
1050-1093 Composition of three famous Marian prayers by St. Anselm of Canterbury ( Oratio 50, Oratio 51, Oratio 52; PL 158, 948-959)
1080-1124 Eadmer of Canterbury composes The Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Tractatus de conceptio sactae Mariae; PL 159, c 301-318. See Gambero 118 footnote 2), which at the time, was the best exposition of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception
1100 Flourishing of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, especially by St. Anselm, Eadmer, St. Bernard, and Hugh of St. Victor, among others
ca. 1100 Berengaud, bishop of Treves, is the first writer to use the title, Mother of the Church (Mater Ecclesiae) All About Mary: Mother of the Church
1100-1200 Early versions of the Litany of the Virgin Mary; the first part of the Hail Mary, and the Rosary All About Mary: Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07110b.htm All About Mary: Rosary Origins
1100-1200 Spread of the Life of Mary to the West
1100-1135 Rupert of Deutz gives Marian interpretation of the Song of Songs ( In Canticum Canticorum 1, 1; PL 168, 839-40) and speaks of Mary’s spiritual motherhood ( In Joannem 13; PL 169, 789 D)
1100-1150 First appearance of the Hail Mary
1100-1150 Marian mosaic placed in Cathedral of Torcello, Italy
1100-1153 Anselm of Canterbury and Bernard of Clairvaux highlight Mary's role in redemption in addition to her role in the incarnation All About Mary: Anselm of Canterbury All About Mary: Channel and Fountain Symbolism
1151 Establishment of Santa Maria de Alcobaça Monastery in Portugal
1154 Founding of Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Palestine
1163-1235 Building of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/-English-
1179 Establishment of shrine of Our Lady of Nazare in Portugal
1194-1220/60 Rebuilding and dedication of the Cathedral in Chartres/France http://www.cathedrale-chartres.org/en/,143.html
1200 Development in Franciscan spirituality of devotion to the Seven Delights or Joys of Mary
1200 Origin of various devotions to the joys of Mary as well as contemplations on the sorrows of Mary All About Mary: Seven Sorrows, Seven Joys The Mary Page Archive ; The Mary Page Archive
1216 St. Francis of Assisi has a vision of the Virgin Mary and establishes the Order of the Franciscans at the site of the chapel of Porziuncola. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06221a.htm http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12286a.htm
1220 Dedication of a church at Mt. Carmel to Our Lady
1225-1250 Stephen of Sawley develops meditations on the fifteen joys of Mary All About Mary: Stephen of Sawley: Mary's Joys
1230-1280 Albert the Great uses the title " Mother of the Church " All About Mary: Mother of the Church
1250-1274 Bonaventure introduces the word hyperdulia for the type of veneration given to Mary; Attributed also to Thomas Aquinas (Gambeio 213) All About Mary: Adoration of Mary
1251 St. Simon Stock receives the Scapular from Mary http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13800a.htm All About Mary: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Scapular
1260-1306 Composition of the Stabat Mater by Jacopone da Todi All About Mary: Stabat Mater Poetry All About Mary: Stabat Mater, Origins All About Mary: Popes on the Rosary (see Urban IV)
ca. 1265 First records of the Angelus prayer; in 1269 St. Bonaventure recommends the saying of three Hail Marys with the evening bell. ( Chronicorum 24 Generalium; Analecta Franciscana III, 329) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelus
1265-1308 Duns Scotus is the first to set forth sound arguments for Mary's Immaculate Conception All About Mary: John Duns Scotus on the Immaculate Conception
1270 Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa brought to city of Lviv
1294 Beginning of pilgrimages to Loreto to venerate Holy House of Loreto and Our Lady of Loreto
1300-1400 Institution of the Feast of Mary's Presentation All About Mary: Presentation of Mary
1315 Church of St. Mary of Loreto mentioned for the first time in acts of penal process held at Macerata (Marche, Italy)
1318 Pope John XXII approved custom of reciting Hail Mary at the curfew hour http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08431a.htm
1326 Founding of Oriel College/Oxford and its dedication to Mary
1327 Pope John XXII wrote that the evening bell of the three Hail Marys be rung in Rome
1372 Institution of the Feast of Mary’s Purification in the West http://www.salvemariaregina.info/SalveMariaRegina/SMR-155/Purification.htm
1375 Pope Gregory XI grants first indulgences to the Church of Loreto
1377 Pope Gregory XI fosters Marian devotion by requiring the Curia to participate in the celebration of the Feast of the Presentation of Blessed Virgin Mary. [Source: Marienlexikon , Vol. 3, p. 16] All About Mary: Marian Teachings: Pre-Early Modern Period All About Mary: Presentation of Mary
1379 Founding of Saint Mary's College/Oxford and its dedication
1382 Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa removed from Lviv by Prince Ladislaus of Opole
1384 Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa housed in chapel at Jasna Gora
1385 Portuguese success at Battle of Aljubarrota attributed to intercession of Blessed Virgin Mary
1387 Monastery of St. Mary of Victory built to honor Mary because of her intercession at Battle of Aljubarrota
1395 Grand Prince Vasili of Moscow orders icon of Our Lady of Vladimir be brought to Moscow; icon credited with protecting Moscow from invasion by Tamerlane
1390 In the Bull Superni benignitas , Pope Boniface IX institutes the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BR04, 602-604) All About Mary: Marian Teachings: Pre-Early Modern Period All About Mary: Feast of the Visitation
1400 “Litany of Loreto” formed All About Mary: Litany of Loreto in Context
1400 Special grace of the Virgin Mary received by the Carmelites and reported by John Grossi’s Viridarium
1400-1500 Composition of the Memorare All About Mary: Memorare Prayer
1410 Introduction of the Rosary of Dominic the Carthusian
1410 Polish forces defeat the Teutonic Knights as they sing Poland’s oldest hymn “Bogurodzica Dziewica” (“God’s Virgin Mother”)
1420-1447 St. Colette of Corbie reveals her visions of Mary All About Mary: Holy Kindred
1423 Institution of the Feast of the Sorrows of Mary All About Mary: Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
1430 Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa damaged during robbery of shrine at Czestochowa
1435 Alain of Roche creates the “New Psalter of the Virgin” (the Rosary) in which 15 mysteries of Mary are enumerated All About Mary: Rosary Origins
1438-1445 Council of Florence professes that the Son of God became man through Mary (DS 709) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06111a.htm
1439 Council of Basel defines doctrine of Immaculate Conception (DS 734) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02334b.htm
1440 Founding of Eton College which is dedicated to Mary
1444 St. Bernardine of Siena and his followers preach devotion of the Seven Delights of Mary through the garland of delights , or Chaplet of 72 Hail Mary s All About Mary: Seven Joys of Mary
1453 Hodegetria Icon disappears and is presumed destroyed after the fall of Constantinople
1456 Last practice of the Angelus solidified with the promulgation by Pope Callixtus III of praying three Hail Marys at midday
1457 Printing of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1464 Alain of Roche, at Douai, begins preaching the “New Psalter of the Virgin;” Alain is credited with the structuring of the three groups of the Mysteries of the Rosary into Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious
1470 Dominican Alan Rupe writes on The Unity of Mary’s Psalter
1470-1471 Martin Schongauer makes engravings on the Life of Mary
1475 Founding of the first Confraternity of the Rosary in Cologne, Germany All About Mary: Dominicans
1492 The Salve Regina is the first Christian prayer recited in the New World, as it was offered by Columbus and his men on San Salvador
1495 Approval of the Rosary by Pope Alexander VI http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01289a.htm
1496-1501 Michelangelo completes the Pietà All About Mary: Images of the Madonna (see 1500s)
1507 Catholic Church approves pilgrimages to the shrine of Loreto
1517-1648 Protestant Reformation through which Marian devotion and knowledge gradually faded in Protestantism
1518 Titian paints his Assumption at Frari, Venice, Italy
1531 Apparition of the Blessed Virgin to Juan Diego at Guadalupe, Mexico http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/guadalupe/index.html
1538 Destruction of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham
1558 Publication of the Litany of Loreto All About Mary: Litany of Loreto in Context
1547-1563 Council of Trent affirms Mary's immunity from every actual personal fault (DS 993) and reaffirms the regulations regarding the veneration of Marian images (DS 986) http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/trentall.html
This same holy Synod doth nevertheless declare, that it is not its intention to include in this decree, where original sin is treated of, the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, the mother of God; but that the constitutions of Pope Sixtus IV., of happy memory, are to be observed, under the pains contained in the said constitutions, which it renews. (Fifth Session, Decree on Original Sin) (DS 792)
Moreover, that the images of Christ, of the Virgin Mother of God, and of the other saints, are to be had and retained particularly in temples, and that due honor and veneration are to be given them; not that any divinity, or virtue, is believed to be in them, on account of which they are to be worshipped; or that anything is to be asked of them; or, that trust is to be reposed in images, as was of old done by the Gentiles who placed their hope in idols; but because the honor which is shown them is referred to the prototypes which those images represent; in such wise that by the images which we kiss, and before which we uncover the head, and prostrate ourselves, we adore Christ; and we venerate the saints, whose similitude they bear: as, by the decrees of Councils, and especially of the second Synod of Nicaea, has been defined against the opponents of images. (Twenty-fifth Session, on the Invocation, Veneration, and Relics, of Saints, and on Sacred Images) (DS 986)
1555 Pope Paul IV, in the Constitution Cum Quorumdam Hominum , affirms Mary’s virginity before, during and after Christ’s birth
1563 Founding of the Marian Sodality http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14120a.htm
1563 Council of Trent reaffirms liceity of the cult of the images of Mary
1563 Hail Mary introduced into the Divine Office
1563 Appearance of Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Teresa of Jesus, who began the Discalced Carmelites with a living awareness of Mary in the Carmelite spirit http://helpfellowship.org/Articles%20of%20INterest/st_teresa%20and%20mary.htm
1567 Pope St. Pius V affirms Mary’s sinlessness (Papal bull Super Speculum )
1569-1679 Construction of the church Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi. http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/assisi-santa-maria-degli-angeli
1571 Intervention of Mary credited with Christian victory over Islamic conquest at Gulf of Lepanto. The victory at the Battle of Lepanto is attributed by Pius the V to the recitation of the Rosary. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09181b.htm
1571 Pope Pius V honors Mary with title Our Lady of Victory
1572 Pius V adds the invocation Mary, Help of Christians to the Marian Litany. and introduces the Feast of Our Lady of Victory. All About Mary: Help of Christians All About Mary: Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary All About Mary: Our Lady of Victory
1573 Gregory XII Changes the Feast of Our Lady of Victory to the Feast of the Holy Rosary. All About Mary: Our Lady of Victory
1577 St. Peter Canisius writes De Maria Virgine Incomparabili http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11756c.htm
1578 Apparition at Lezajsk/Poland http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/lejask/index.html
1586 Holy House of Holy Family in Loreto, Italy, raised to a city and granted cathedral status by Pope Sixtus V
1587 Litany of Loreto approved by Pope Sixtus V All About Mary: Litany of Loreto in Context
1550-1617 Francis Suarez establishes first systematic Mariology with his Opera Omnia http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14319a.htm
1594 Apparition at Quito, Ecuador http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/quito/index.html
1601 Litany of Loreto (Litany of the Blessed Virgin) prescribed for the Universal Church by Pope Clement VIII All About Mary:Litany of Loreto in Context
ca. 17th Century The French School of Sprituality (Bérulle, Condren, Olier, John Eudes, also John-Baptist de la Salle, Grignion de Montfort) brings about a renewal of Marian devotion: Mary at the heart of the Christian mystery; the first and most perfect Christian http://www.ewtn.com/library/montfort/Handbook/Frenchs.htm
1608 Russian monks invoke protection of Mary in defense of Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius in Moscow
1608-1612 Aparaition at Siluva/Lithuania http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/siluva/index.html
1610 La Conquistadora (also known as Our Lady of Conquering Love ) brought to Santa Fe, New Mexico by Spanish Conquistadores
1627 Beginning of records of large-scale pilgrimages to the Black Madonna of Czestochowa
1643-1669 Devotion to the “Heart of Mary” promoted by St. John Eudes All About Mary: Immaculate Heart of Mary Devotion
1644 Establishment of the Feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary All About Mary: Liturgical History of Marian Feasts
1648 Establishment of Feast of Our Lady of Iveron after daughter of Russian Tsar Alexis cured from illness upon arrival of copy of Icon of Our Lady of Iveron to Moscow.
1652 Apparition at Querrien, Brittany,/France http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/querrien/index.html
1655 Our Lady of Czestochowa invoked by Polish monks during invasion by Sweden; victory at monastery results, and Swedish occupation driven from country
1656 Poland’s King Jan Kazimierz gives Mary title “Queen of Poland” after victory over Sweden All About Mary: Pope John Paul II and Poland's Marian Tradition
1664-1718 Apparitions at Laus/France http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/laus/index.html
1673 Founding of the Marians (Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception) by the Venerable Servant of God Stanislaus Papczynski http://padrimariani.org/en/index.php
1675 St. Margaret Mary Alacoque has vision of Jesus revealing His Sacred Heart ablaze with love and calling for return of love from all of humanity http://www.piercedhearts.org/theology_heart/life_saints/a_st_margaret_mary.htm
1676 Fr. Colombière spreads St. Margaret Mary Alacoque’s devotion to the Sacred Heart to Great Britain
1680 St. John Eudes composes The Admirable Heart of Mary , the first full-length book on the Heart of Mary http://www.liberius.net/livres/The_admirable_Heart_of_Mary_000000374.pdf
1683 Feast of the Holy Name of Mary extended to the Universal Church All About Mary: Name of Mary Feast: September 12
1683 King Jan III Sobieski invokes intercession of Mary as Turks besiege Vienna; Polish forces victorious
1690 Pope Alexander VIII upholds Mary’s perfect sinlessness (Decree of the Holy Office, Dec. 7, 1690. Error of the Jansenists (DS 1314)) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01295a.htm
1716 Pope Clement XI extends Feast of Holy Rosary to the Catholic world in thanksgiving for triumph of Charles VI over Islamic invasion of Hungary http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04029a.htm All About Mary: October, Month of the Rosary
1716 Alexander de Rouville publishes The Imitation of Mary , patterned after The Imitation of Christ
1724 Pope Benedict XIV approves the unified praying of the Angelus and prescribes that during the Easter season the Angelus be replaced by the Regina Caeli http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02432a.htm
1726 The liturgical celebration of “Our Lady of Mount Carmel” is extended to the entire Latin Church All About Mary: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Scapular
1726 Permission from the Pope for public devotion to Mary’s Heart again refused
1727 Benedict XIII decrees Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows for Latin Church
1729 Apparition at Montagnaga/Italy http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/montagnaga/index.html
1750 Alphonsus Maria de Liguori writes The Glories of Mary http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01334a.htm
1754 Proclamation of Our Lady of Guadalupe as patroness of Mexico All About Mary: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
1799 Devotion to Mary’s Heart permitted by the pope
ca. 1800 Beginning of Marian shrine at Lichen, Poland All About Mary: Our Lady of Lichen
1813 Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa brought to St. Petersburg for veneration by Tsar Alexander I and a copy is later left in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan
1817 Founding of the Marianists by Fr. William Joseph Chaminade http://www.marianist.org/site.php?menuaccess=22
1819 Institution of the Feast Mary, Help of Christians All About Mary: Help of Christians
1830 Apparition to Catherine Labouré in Paris, France http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/ruedubac/index.html
1842 Discovery of Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort’s book True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09384a.htm https://www.ewtn.com/library/Montfort/TRUEDEVO.HTM
1842 Apparition in Rome/Italy http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/rome1842/index.html
1846 Apparition at La Salette, France http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/lasalette/index.html
1846 Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of her Immaculate Conception, is declared Patroness of the United States
1849 Pope Pius IX’s Encyclical Ubi Primum , emphasizing Mary’s Immaculate Conception https://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P9UBIPR2.HTM
1851 Pope Pius IX, in the Encyclical Exultavit cor Nostrum , refers to Mary as our most loving Mother and our greatest source of confidence. https://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P9EXULTA.HTM
1854 Proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary by Pope Pius IX in the Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/marye1.htm
1858 Apparition at Lourdes, France http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/lourdes/index.html
1859 Apparition at Robinsonville, Wisconsin/United States http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/robinsonville/index.html
1864 Pope Pius IX, in the Encyclical Quanta Cura , refers to Mary as Mother and Queen. https://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P9QUANTA.HTM
1865 Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help returned to Esquiline Hill in Rome by the Redemptorists All About Mary: Our Lady of Perpetual Help
1866 Blessing of the Crypt and the first Mass at the Grotto of Massabielle, Lourdes
1866 Apparition at Flippsdorf/Czech Republic http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/filippsdorf/index.html
1871 Apparition at Pontmain, France http://www.marypages.com/PontmainEng1.html
1877 Construction of shrine to Our Lady of the Assumption at Cold Spring, Minnesota
1879 Apparition at Knock, Ireland http://www.marypages.com/Knock1.htm
1879 Beginnings of Canada’s Shrine of Our Lady of the Cape in Quebec All About Mary: Our Lady of the Cape
1883-1902 Pope Leo XIII: eleven Marian encyclicals, advocating devotion to Mary and praying the Rosary ( Octobri Mense ) All About Mary: Popes on the Rosary (see Leo XIII)
1883 Adding of the invocation Queen of the Most Holy Rosary to the Litany of Loreto All About Mary: Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1884 Origin of “54-day Rosary Novena” All About Mary: Lacey's Rosary Novena
1888 Apparition at Castelpetroso/Italy http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/bishop.html
1899 Consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Pope Leo XIII
1900 Proclamation of Our Lady of Guadalupe as Patroness of the Americas All About Mary: Nican Mopohua
1900 Consecration of the twentieth century to the Holy Spirit by Pope Leo XIII
1900 1st International Marian Congress celebrated in Lyon, France.
1902 2nd International Marian Congress celebrated in Fribourg, Switzerland.
1904 Encyclical Ad Diem Illum by Pope Pius X (on the fiftieth anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x/...
1904 3rd International Marian Congress celebrated in Rome.
1906 4th International Marian Congress celebrated in Einsiedeln, Switzerland.
1907 Institution of the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes All About Mary: Liturgical History of Marian Feasts
1908 5th International Marian Congress celebrated in Salzburg, Austria.
1910 6th International Marian Congress celebrated in Zaragoza, Spain.
1912 Pope Pius X authorizes plenary indulgence on the first Saturday of each month
1912 7th International Marian Congress celebrated in Trier, Germany.
1913 Congregation of the Holy Office, in the decree Sunt quos amor , praises the custom of calling Mary “Co-Redemptrix”
1914 Construction begins on the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. http://www.nationalshrine.com/site/c.osJRKVPBJnH/b.4719297/k.BF65/Home.htm
1914 Beginning of the Schoenstatt movement by Father Joseph Kentenich in Germany http://www.schoenstatt.org/en/
1917 Apparition at Fatima, Portugal http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/fatima/index.html
1917 Founding of the Militia Immaculata by Father Maximilian Maria Kolbe http://www.militia-immaculatae.info/pages/en/home.php?lang=EN
1917 Pope Benedict XV adds the invocation “Queen of Peace, pray for us” to the Litany of Loreto All About Mary: Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1918 Adding of the invocation Queen of Peace to the Litany of the Blessed Virgin All About Mary: Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1918 Pope Benedict XV, in the apostolic letter Inter Sodalicia , sets forth the role of Mary in Christ’s redeeming sacrifice
1920 “Miracle of the Vistula” in Poland, where the Polish people rout invading Russian forces after invoking prayers to Our Lady of Czestochowa All About Mary: Czestochowa Black Madonna
1921 Founding of The Legion of Mary in Dublin, Ireland http://www.legionofmary.ie/
1923 In the apostolic letter Explorata Res , Pope Pius XI affirms Mary’s role in the Redemption brought by Christ
1925 Canonization of St. Thérèse de Lisieux, whose spirituality was significantly influenced by the Blessed Virgin Mary All About Mary: Saint Thérèse de Lisieux, Marian Devotion
1925 Appearance of Our Lady of Fatima to Sister Lucia in Pontevedra, Spain, asking her to promulgate the five First Saturday devotion All About Mary: Saturday Devotions (see First Saturday Communion of Reparation)
1927 Holy See authorizes a special votive Mass for Our Lady of Fatima
1927 Coronation of the Icon of the Holy Mother of Mercy in Vilnius, Lithuania
1929 Appearance of Our Lady to Sister Lucia at Tui, Spain, where she asked for the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart
1930 Bishop of Fatima declares Fatima apparitions worthy of acceptance and of supernatural origin
1931 Institution of the Feast of the Divine Motherhood of Mary All About Mary: Christmas and the Solemnity of Mary's Divine Motherhood
1932-1933 Apparitions at Beauraing, Belgium http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/beauraing/index.html
1933 Apparition at Banneux, Belgium http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/banneaux/index.html
1933-1934 Pope Pius XI speaks of Mary’s contribution to Christ’s redemptive work and portrays her as associated with this work
1942 Pope Pius XII dedicates the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_XII_Consecration_to_the_Immaculate_Heart_of_Mary http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/fatima/index.html
1943 Founding of Marian Library at the University of Dayton, OH Marian Library/IMRI History
1944 Institution of the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary All About Mary: Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
1945 Apparition at Amsterdam/Netherlands http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/amsterdam/index.html
1946 Pope Pius XII crowns image of Our Lady of Fatima and proclaims her “Queen of the World”
1946 Pope Pius XII recognizes the universal significance of the message of Fatima
1946 Encyclical Deiparae Virginis Mariae (on the possibility of defining the Assumption) by Pope Pius XII http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_01051946_deiparae-virginis-mariae_en.html
1946 In Poland, 700,000 pilgrims gather at the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa to consecrate Poland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
1947 Canonization of St. Louis de Montfort by Pope Pius XII
1947 Establishment of the Academia Mariana Internationalis in Rome. All About Mary: Pontifical International Marian Academy
1949 Pope Pius XII proclaimed a Holy Year from December 24, 1949 to December 24, 1950
1949 Founding of the Mariological Society of America by Father Juniper Carol. http://www.mariologicalsociety.com/
1950 Proclamation of the Dogma of Mary's Assumption by Pope Pius XII in the Apostolic Constituion Munificentissimus Deus All About Mary: Assumption Dogma http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-xii_apc_19501101_munificentissimus-deus_en.html
1950 Adding of the invocation Mary, Queen assumed into heaven to the Litany of Loreto All About Mary: Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1950 1st International Mariological and 8th Marian Congress celebrated in Rome; theme: Alma Socia Christi.
1950 Founding of the Marianum Theological Faculty in Rome by Father Gabriel Roschini http://marianum.it/
1951 Encyclical Ingruentium Malorum on the spiritual power of the Rosary by Pope Pius XII http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_15091951_ingruentium-malorum_en.html
1952 Pope Pius XII, in his apostolic letter Sacro Vergente Anno , expressly entrusts and consecrates “in a very special way to the Immaculate Heart of Mary all the peoples of Russia”
1953 Encyclical Fulgens Corona by Pope Pius XII with the proclamation of a Marian Year in commemoration of the centenary of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_08091953_fulgens-corona_en.html All About Mary: Marian Years
1953 Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski composes the Jasna Gora vows, re-consecrating Poland to Mary
1953 Weeping Madonna at Syracuse/Italy http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/syracuse.htm
1954 Encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam by Pope Pius XII with the proclamation of Mary’s Queenship and its institution as a Feast http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_11101954_ad-caeli-reginam_en.html All About Mary: Memorial of Mary's Queenship
1954 2nd International Mariological and 9th Marian Congress celebrated in Rome; theme: Virgo Immaculata.
1956 “Polish Marian Year” declared in commemoration of the 300 th anniversary of King Jan Kazimierz’s proclamation of Mary as Queen of Poland
1956 Vatican officially approves adding to the public recitation of the Rosary the Fatima prayer given by Our Lady “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven especially those who have most need of your mercy”
1957 Pope Pius XII, in the encyclical Le Pèlerinage de Lourdes , commemorates the centenary of Mary’s appearances at Lourdes http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_02071957_le-pelerinage-de-lourdes_en.html
1958 3rd International Mariological and 10th Marian Congress celebrated in Lourdes; theme: Maria et Ecclesia.
1959 In the encyclical Grata Recordatio , Pope John XXIII calls Mary “the cause of salvation for the whole human race” http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_xxiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_j-xxiii_enc_26091959_grata-recordatio_en.html
1959 Dedication of the main church and superstructure of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. http://www.nationalshrine.com/site/c.osJRKVPBJnH/b.4719297/k.BF65/Home.htm
1959 Pope John XXIII grants the title Pontifical to the Academia Mariana Internationalis All About Mary: Pontifical International Marian Academy
1960 Revelation of the third secret of Fatima to Pope John XXIII
1962 Institution of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, in honor of Our Lady of Fatima, by Pope John XXIII
1964 Promulgation of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium by Pope Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council: Chapter Eight of the Constitution gives the first Conciliar synthesis of the Church’s teaching on Mary’s place in the mystery of Christ and the Church. http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html
1964 Proclamation of Mary as Mater Ecclesiae by Pope Paul VI All About Mary: Mother of the Church
1965 Encyclical Mense Maio issued by Pope Paul VI, urging prayer during Mary’s month of May. (summary here) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_29041965_mense-maio_en.html All About Mary: Magisterial Documents: Mense Maio (Summary)
1965 4th International Mariological and 11th Marian Congress celebrated in St. Domingo; theme: Maria in S. Scriptura.
1966 Encyclical Christi Matri by Pope Paul VI, in which he appeals for peace through the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church and Queen of Peace. (summary here) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_15091966_christi-matri_en.html All About Mary: Magisterial Documents: Christi Matri (Summary)
1967 Apostolic Exhortation Signum Magnum by Pope Paul VI, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Mary's apparition at Fatima. (summary here) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_p-vi_exh_19670513_signum-magnum_en.html http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/fatima/index.html All About Mary: Magisterial Documents: Signum Magnum
1967 5th International Mariological and 12th Marian Congress celebrated in Lisbon; theme: De Primordiis Cultus Mariani (Mariologia Patristica).
1967 Pope Paul VI, in the Encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus , refers to Mary as the Mother and Model of the Church and asks her to intercede for vocations to the priesthood. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_24061967_sacerdotalis_en.html
1968 Apparition at Zeitun/Egypt http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/zeitun/index.html
1969 Publication of the revised Roman Missal , which is indicative of the implementation of the Conciliar teaching of Mary's role in the mystery of Christ and the Church and the elimination of certain minor Marian feasts
1969 In the Apostolic Exhortation Recurrens Mensis October , Pope Paul VI encourages the praying of the Rosary for peace. (summary here) All About Mary: Rosary for Peace All About Mary: Magisterial Documents: Recurrens Mensis October
1970 Publication of the revised Liturgy of the Hours , also indicative of a revised Marian approach regarding Marian readings, antiphons and hymns.
1971 6th International Mariological and 13th Marian Congress celebrated in Zagrabia; theme: De cultu mariano saeculis VI-XI. http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-resources/liturgy-of-the-hours/
1973 Publication of the U.S. Bishops' Pastoral Letter Behold Your Mother (complete document); or this summary http://books.google.com/books?id=GDgTqmbh ... All About Mary: Magisterial Documents: Behold Your Mother: Woman of Faith
1973 Apparition at Akita/Japan http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/akita/index.html
1974 Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus : For the right ordering and development of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. (summary here) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_p-vi_exh_19740202_marialis-cultus_en.html All About Mary: Magisterial Documents: Marialis Cultus
1975 Revised Roman Missal (2 nd edition) includes Votive Masses of “Mary, Mother of the Church” and “Holy Name of Mary”
1975 7th International Mariological and 14th Marian Congress celebrated in Rome; theme: De cultu mariano saeculis XII-XV.
1975 In the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete in Domino , Pope Paul VI presents Mary as an example of Christian Joy. (summary here) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_p-vi_exh_19750509_gaudete-in-domino_en.html All About Mary: Magisterial Documents: Guadete in Domino
1976 Polish bishops themselves consecrate all nations and peoples to the Mother of God
1976 Apparation at Batania/Venezuela http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/betania/index.html
1978 Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith lifts prohibitions imposed in 1959 on the Mercy of God devotions advocated by Sister Faustina Kowalska
1979 Pope John Paul II, in his visit to Our Lady’s Shrine of Guadalupe in Mexico City, describes the faith of Mary as a model for all Christians and calls her the “star of evangelization”
1979 Image of Guadalupe examined by scientists and it is determined that the original image of Mary could not be explained as a human work
1979 Shrine of Our Lady of Knock in Ireland visited by Pope John Paul II and elevated to status of Basilica
1979 8th International Mariological and 15th Marian Congress celebrated in Saragoza; theme: De cultu mariano saeculis XVI.
1980 Adding of the invocation Mother of the Church to the Litany of Loreto All About Mary: Litany of Loreto in Context
1980 Apparition at Cuapa/Nicaragua http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/cuapa/index.html
1981 The Church promulgates The Rite for Crowning an Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1981-1989 Apparitions at Kibeho/Rwanda http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/kibeho_rwanda/index.html
1982 Apparition at Edfu/Egypt http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/edfu/index.html
1983 Apparition at San Nicholas/Argentina http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/sannicolas/index.html
1983 9th International Mariological and 16th Marian Congress celebrated in Malta; theme: De cultu mariano saeculis XVII-XVIII.
1985 Consecration of the people and President of the United States to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
1986-1991 Apparition at Papadouplo, Shoubra, Cairo/Egypt http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/shoubra/index.html
1987 Proclamation of a Marian Year (June 7, 1987-August 15, 1988). All About Mary: Marian Years
1987 Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Mater by Pope John Paul II. (summary here) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031987_redemptoris-mater_en.html All About Mary: Magisterial Documents: Redemptoris Mater
1987 Publication of the Latin Edition of the Collection of Marian Masses All About Mary: Liturgical History of Marian Feasts
1987 10th International Mariological and 17th Marian Congress celebrated in Kevelaer; theme: De cultu mariano saeculis XIX-XX.
1988 Publication of the Letter from the Congregation for Catholic Education: The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation All About Mary: The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation
1988 John Paul II, in the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitate, . presents the Blessed Virgin Mary as model for women. (summary here) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_15081988_mulieris-dignitatem_en.html All About Mary: Magisterial Documents: Mulieris Dignitatum
1988 Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the United States raised to status of Feast
1992 Publication of the complete English edition of the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary All About Mary: Liturgical History of Marian Feasts
1992 11th International Mariological and 18th Marian Congress celebrated in Huelva; theme: De cultu mariano saeculo XX. Post Concilium Vaticanum II [Marian doctrine, devotion and cult from Vatican Council II up to our day].
1993 Pope John Paul II, in the encyclical Veritatis Splendor , presents Mary as the Mother of Mercy. (summary here) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor_en.html All About Mary: Magisterial Documents: Veritatis Splendor
1994 Publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church . The Catechism show the intergral role of Mary in the mystery of Christ and the Church http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
1994 Apparition at Itapirang/Brazil http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/itapiranga/index.html
1995 Adding of the invocation Mary, Queen of Families to the Marian Litany All About Mary: Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1995 John Paul II, in the encyclical Evangelium Vitae portrays Mary as the bearer and defender of life. (summary here) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_en.html All About Mary: Magisterial Documents: Evangelium Vitae
1996 12th International Mariological and 19th Marian Congress celebrated in Czestochowa; theme: Maria, Mater Domini in mysterio salutis, quod ab Orientis et Occidentis Ecclesiis in Spiritu Sancto hodie celebratur [Mary, Mother of the Lord, in the mystery of salvation as celebrated in the Eastern and Western Churches].
1998 Bull of Indiction of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 The Mystery of the Incarnation by Pope John Paul II: Mary, the Mother of the Church, intercedes for the Christian people during the time of preparation for the great jubilee year http://www.vatican.va/jubilee_2000/docs/documents/hf_jp-ii_doc_30111998_bolla-jubilee_en.html
2000 The Holy Year of Christ’s Birth .
2000 13th International Mariological and 20th Marian Congress celebrated in Rome; theme: Maria e il mistero della Santa Trinità (Mary and the Mystery of the Holy Trinity).
2000 Consecration of the World to Mary by Pope John Paul II and the College of Bishops
2000 Consecration of the Third Millenium of Christianity to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope John Paul II
2000 The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith releases The Message of Fatima , which reveals and interprets the Third Secret of Fatima. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html
2000-2001 Apparition at Assuit/Egypt http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/assiut/index.html
2001 John Paul II, in the Apostolic Leter Novo Millennio Inuente at the close of the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, presents the Blessed Virgin Mary as "Star of the New Evangelization." http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_20010106_novo-millennio-ineunte_en.html
October 2002-October 2003 The Year of the Rosary
Apostolic Letter of John Paul II Rosarium Virginis Mariae [On the Most Holy Rosary] (10/2/2002)--The Mysteries of Light. (summary here) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_20021016_rosarium-virginis-mariae_en.html All About Mary: Magisterial Documents: Rosarium Virginis Mariae
2003 Encyclical of John Paul II Ecclesia de Eucharistia with chapter VI, "At the School of Mary, 'Woman of the Eucharist'" http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/special_features/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_20030417_ecclesia_eucharistia_en.html
2004 Twenty-first International Mariological-Marian Congress in Rome; theme: Mary of Nazareth welcomes the Son of God in History
2005 Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday from John Paul II mentions " 'Eucharistic' life at the school of Mary" http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/2005/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_20050313_priests-holy-thursday_en.html
2005 Benedict XVI, in the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est [God is Love]--presents Mary as teacher of true love http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20051225_deus-caritas-est_en.html
2008 One-hundredth anniversary of Lourdes
2008 Twenty-second International Mariological-Marian Congress in Lourdes; theme: The Virgin Mary's apparitions. Among History, Faith and theology
2008 15th International Mariological and 22nd Marian Congress celebrated in Lourdes; theme: The apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary – between history, faith and theology
2009 Apparition at Warraq, El-Hadar/Egypt http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/warraq/index.html
2012 16th International Mariological and 23rd Marian Congress celebrated in Rome; theme: Mariology since Vatican II. Reception, Assessment, and Prospects
2013 Pope Francis, in the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudium Evangelii , presents Mary as the Mother of Evangelization. http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html
Catholic Book Publishing Co., Dictionary of Mary “Behold your Mother,” revised and expanded edition (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1997);
Catholic Encyclopedi. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/
Fiores de S., Meo, S., eds., Nuevo Diccionario de Mariología (Madrid: Ediciones Paulinas, 1988);
Gambero, Luigi. Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Patristic Thought . Trans. Thomas Buffer. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999.
Gambero, Luigi. Mary in the Middle Ages: The Blessed Virgin Mary in the Thought of Medieval Latin Theologians Trans. Thomas Buffer. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005.
Graef, Hilda. Mary : A History of Doctrine and Devotion; with a new chapter covering Vatican II and beyond by Thomas A. Thompson . Notre Dame, Indiana: Christian classics, 2009.
Martin, John. Roses, Fountains and Gold. The Virgin Mary in History, Art and Apparition . San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1998.
Pannet, R., Bavaud, G., Margerie de, B., Dictionnaire Marial (Chambray-lès-Tours: C.L.D., 1991);
Stöhr, J., “Mariologie,” in R. Bäumer, L. Scheffczyk, eds., Marienlexikon 6 Vols. (St. Ottilien: EOS Verlag, 1992), Vol. 4, 320-326;
Warner, M., Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976).
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This is the most complete list of marian apparitions.
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Always as our Lady, our Mother and our Savior's mother, Mary has appeared as apparitions under many titles to many diverse peoples in different periods of history. She suffered a sword piercing her heart as she watched her son's Passion and Death, and she is constantly alert to even our smallest sufferings. Our Blessed Mother comes to us when we need her most, with a message and guidance specific to the problems and suffering at hand. Here is a list of 40 beautiful stories of Marian apparitions in countries all over the world to inspire you and remind you of the eternal compassion and counsel which she unceasingly offers to us.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico
St. Juan Diego encountered Mary as he climbed the Hill of Tepeyac in Mexico during a routine walk in 1531. She identified herself as the Virgin Mary, the “mother of the very true deity” and requested that a chapel be built on the Hill in her honor. After two unsuccessful attempts to convince his bishop, St. Juan Diego explained to Our Lady that he needed to bring a specific sign in order to verify the validity of his vision.
Once St. Juan opened his cloak to the bishop, a cascade of roses fell from his tilma, revealing the ornate details of the miraculous and mysterious image of Our Lady of Guadalupe . To this day, the tilma remains in excellent condition, and Our Lady of Guadalupe is invoked by thousands of faithful all over the world.
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Rue du Bac, Paris, France
When Catherine Labouré was only a novice in the Rue du Bac convent, she was praying in the chapel late at night in 1830. At once, she saw a figure that she believed was her guardian angel, who then escorted her to see Mary descend the chapel steps and sit in the chair reserved for the spiritual director.
Catherine reported this vision to her spiritual director, who was skeptical at first, but then Mary appeared a second time, standing on a globe and holding a golden ball, light surrounding her. Catherine understood this vision to mean that the ball represented the world, and the light emanating from Mary were all of the individual graces people would receive from venerating her as Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. The oval design and “M”, as well as the words, “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee” were part of St. Catherine’s vision.
Our Lady of La Salette, France
In 1846, two children named Maximin Giraud and Mélanie Calvat were returning from a mountain in La Salette, France, after tending to their cows, when they saw “a beautiful lady” appear to them, weeping with her face in her hands and “clothed in a white robe studded with pearls; and a gold-colored apron; white shoes and roses about her feet and high head-dress. She wore a crucifix suspended by a necklace from her neck.”
The message of Our Lady was the conversion of the entire world. Her devotees were mainly of nineteenth century, rural France, but saints, such as St. John Vianney, called upon her for intercession regularly. St. John Paul II explained that she is a timeless representation of Mary, desperately encouraging us toward deeper prayer, conversion, and commitment to God.
Our Lady of Lourdes, France
Likely one of the most beloved and well-known of the Marian apparitions, young Bernadette Soubirous, who was uneducated and poor, saw a beautiful lady standing near a wasteland where Bernadette and her sister were gathering firewood. February 11, 1858 was the first of several apparitions at Lourdes, where Mary revealed herself to Bernadette as “The Immaculate Conception,” a dogma of the Church that was entirely unfamiliar to Bernadette. This added to the credibility of the vision.
As the Immaculate Conception, Mary was dressed in white, bearing a golden rosary and blue belt around her waist with two golden roses at her feet. After much controversy over these ongoing apparitions, they were eventually approved by the Church. Lourdes is a popular pilgrimage site and has been known to possess healing waters, where many miracles have been attributed to Our Lady’s intercession.
Our Lady of Pontmain, France
Two boys of the Barbadette family, Joseph and Eugene, saw a vision of Mary during an ordinary evening of assisting their father in the family barn. When Eugene looked up at the night sky, he saw a beautiful woman wearing a blue gown covered with golden stars and a black veil under a golden crown. His brother, Joseph, also saw the vision, but the boys’ parents did not.
As word spread during the height of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, people looked at this unusual star in the sky, where children were given the grace to see the same Marian apparition that the Barbadette boys saw, but adults could not. Every child who caught a glimpse of her described her in the same detail as Joseph and Eugene did at first sight. Once the apparitions were approved, she was known as Our Lady of Hope, because her presence in the sky literally stopped the advancement of the Prussians against France. They claimed an “invisible Madonna in the sky” prevented them from finishing the war.
Our Lady of Knock, Ireland
In the 1870s, the people of Ireland were still experiencing the aftermath of the Great Irish Famine, which left countless unemployed, starving, and homeless. In a small parish church, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, a group of 15 men, women, and children witnessed multiple apparitions that included St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, and Mary.
Our Lady was radiant and hovering a few feet above the ground, dressed in a white cloak and bearing on her head a radiant golden crown that was illuminated. The witnesses described her as “deep in prayer,” with her hands folded and head bowed. The people joined in praying the Rosary for two hours while they continued to behold this vision of saints.
At the site of the apparition, which is today known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, many granted favors were reported and it became of interest worldwide. It was known as the “Knock phenomenon,” and pilgrims still travel to the shrine from every area of the world to seek Our Lady’s intercession.
Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal
While herding sheep near their village of Fatima in 1916, Lucia Santos and her two cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto were witnesses of an angelic vision on three occasions, who they explained was “The Angel of Peace.” The angel prepared them to increase their efforts at mortification and prayer. One year later, the children saw a woman “brighter than the sun” who wore a white mantle adorned in gold, holding a rosary.
The beautiful lady encouraged the children to pray the rosary daily in order to bring peace to the world and end the war. Mary continued to appear to the three children, revealing prophecies and even making the sun dance , so that the people would come to believe in her message.
Our Lady of Beauraing, Belgium
Also known as the Virgin of the Golden Heart, Our Lady of Beauraing appeared 33 times to 5 children in Belgium between 1932 and 1933. The five children were walking home from school one day, when Albert (one of the visionaries) pointed out a lady dressed in a long white robe who was standing near a railroad nearby. All of the children present witnessed this miracle, and the lady returned to them 32 more times over the course of a few months.
The lady revealed that she wished for a chapel to be built in the garden of the children’s school (attached to a convent), saying, “I am the Immaculate Virgin.” She urged the children to pray fervently. The pilgrimage site today, which has been approved by the Church as a veritable Marian apparition site, draws the faithful, many of whom report miraculous cures.
Our Lady of Banneux, Belgium
Also known as Our Lady of the Poor, she appeared to a teenage girl named Mariette Beco between January 2 and March 2, 1933. When Beco told her family and parish priest about her vision, she described the lady as dressed in white and describing herself as the “Virgin of the Poor.” The lady also sent the message, “I come to relieve suffering and believe in me, and I will believe in you.”
Beco first saw Mary through her kitchen window when she was just twelve years old. Our Lady called out to Beco, but she wasn’t permitted to leave the house. Over the course of 8 apparitions, Mary told Beco to put her hands in a spring of water, saying that it was for healing for all nations. The small spring is directly attributed to many miraculous healings, even to this day.
Our Lady of Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina
In Medjugorje, Mary is also known as the Queen of Peace. She first appeared to 6 Herzogovinian children in 1981, all of whom are still alive. For several years, the young visionaries reported seeing Mary on a hill in Bosnia on a daily basis, but some of them no longer receive apparitions. All of the witnesses were given 6 “secrets” from Mary, which they will have permission to reveal once the apparitions cease altogether.
Our Lady of Medjugorje calls all people to pray, fast, and do penance. Although many wondrous phenomena have occurred at the site of the apparitions, such as the sun spinning or dancing in the sky or pilgrims seeing angels or images of crosses, the apparitions have not yet been approved by the Church and are under investigation.
Mother of the Redeemer, Bloomington, IN
Ruth Ann Wade, an introverted and unpretentious school teacher, began receiving visions of Mary and Jesus in her home. She first shared them with her parish priest, then with her prayer group. Pilgrims began flocking to the farm where the Wades resided in order to hear Ruth Ann’s testimony. Mary revealed herself as the Mother of the Redeemer and requested that a chapel be built on the Wades’ farm hill.
Over time, Our Lady’s messages included further requests for a retreat center, guest house, Stations of the Cross path, and a rosary path. The Mother of the Redeemer Farm is now a full-fledged retreat center, and the Wades no longer live on site. Instead, it houses full time priests and religious, who offer retreats to pilgrims, as well as daily Mass and Eucharistic Adoration.
Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Between 1983 and 1990, Mary appeared to an Argentinian housewife named Gladys Herminia Quiroga de Motta on a near-daily basis, beginning on October 13, 1983 while Gladys was praying her rosary at home.
Mary appeared to her wearing a blue dress, saying, “Do not be afraid. Receive this Rosary from my hands and keep it forever and ever. You are obedient; I am happy because of it. Rejoice, for God is with you,” and handed Gladys a white rosary. Our Lady’s messages have mainly been portents of things to come if the world does not convert, as well as revelations of things to come. These apparitions were recently approved by an Argentinian bishop as supernatural in origin.
Our Lady of Laus, France
In 1664, a young French shepherdess named Benoite Rencurel took her sheep to the Valley of Kilns, where she first saw Mary holding the child Jesus in her arms. Mary instructed Benoite to travel out of Laus and seek a sweet smelling perfume at a chapel, which she wanted to be renovated. Once Benoite came upon it, Mary told her, “This will be a place of conversion for numerous sinners, and I will appear here very often.”
The oil from the sanctuary lamp at the chapel dedicated to Notre Dame de Bon Recontre is known to heal the sick and dying. The message of Our Lady here, also known as the Refuge of Sinners, is reconciliation – with oneself, with others, and with God. The apparition site is one which has been approved by the Church.
Apparitions in Tensta, Sweden
In 2012, several witnesses claimed to have seen Mary on the roof of their church, a Syrian Orthodox parish in Tensta, Sweden. Those who saw her said her appearance there was relevant to the ongoing strife in Syria. Our Lady asked them to pray for peace, to be harbingers of peace everywhere. She appeared to the witnesses three times, one of which seems to be captured in a photograph. These apparitions have not yet been approved by the Catholic Church.
Our Lady of Akita, Japan
Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa saw a hand-carved wooden statue of Our Lady come alive and speak to her in 1973. The statue is said to have brought about miraculous cures to those who believe. The main message of Our Lady of Akita is prayer (especially the Rosary) and penance, with an ominous warning of persecutions and heresies to befall the Catholic Church in future times.
Adding some credibility to these apparitions, Sr. Sasagawa was miraculously healed of a hearing impairment she had, and the healing occurred shortly after the Marian apparitions began. The statue also is reported to mysteriously weep from time to time, one occasion of which was broadcast on national Japanese television. The Church is still investigating the validity of these apparitions.
Shrine of Our Lady of Altotting, Germany
The shrine, dating back to 660 A.D., houses an image of the Black Madonna, which was carved from lindenwood. It is a popular pilgrimage site following a miraculous recovery of a boy who drowned in 1489. The boy’s mother laid his lifeless body at the feet of the statue, and he came to life after she begged Mary’s intercession for a miracle. Other miracles have been reported at this site since that time.
Our Lady of Czestochowa, Poland
Also known as the Black Madonna, Our Lady of Czestochowa is a revered and sacred icon that dates back to the seventh century. Legend states that in 1655, during the Second Northern War, Our Lady held off Swedish troops for over a month, protected the Poles and their monastery (where the icon was kept at the time), and changed the course of the war. Shortly thereafter, Our Lady of Czestochowa was named as Queen and Protector of Poland.
Our Lady of Good Counsel, Genazzano, Italy
According to legend, in 1467 the people of Genazzano, Italy heard heavenly music being played. Suddenly an ethereal cloud descended upon their parish church and annihilated one of the walls, vanishing just as quickly as it came. In its place was a fresco of Mary and the Christ Child, a painting on a surface no thicker than an egg shell that became affectionately known as Our Lady of Good Counsel. The Augustinians have cared for the mysterious image at the parish of Santa Maria, where numerous miracles and cures are said to have taken place.
Our Lady of Loreto, Italy
Most of the miraculous happenings at Loreto are based on tradition. In 1291, the Holy House of Nazareth was transported by angels from Nazareth across the Mediterranean to a small town, Tersatto. The pastor of the town’s church questioned how such a tiny house appeared out of nowhere, and he prayed for divine guidance on what to do about it.
Shortly thereafter, the Blessed Mother appeared to him in a dream and told him that the church was truly from Nazareth and was where the Annunciation took place, brought to his care by the power of God. To prove this, she said he would be cured of an illness from which he suffered for many, many years. Upon awakening, Fr. Alexander’s health was completely and miraculously restored.
Thousands of miracles have been reported at the House of Nazareth, under the intercession of Our Lady of Loreto. Many saints, including St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St. Frances Cabrini have made a pilgrimage to the holy house.
Our Lady of Ocotlan, Mexico
Tradition tells us of this story, which occurred in 1541, where a convert named Juan Diego Bernardino climbed atop a hill in Ocotlan to draw some water from a spring that was known to have healing properties. A deadly illness had left many in his region very ill, including his entire family.
As he came to the apex of the hill, he saw a beautiful lady who spoke to him: “God bless you, my son. Where are you going?” When he explained to her what he was doing, she told him to follow her to a place where she would give him water that would get rid of the contagion altogether, because she didn’t want to see her children suffer without offering a remedy.
At the bottom of the hill, she led him to a pine grove with a spring of water, still in existence today. Our Lady told Juan that the smallest drop of water would restore a person to perfect health and that he would find an image of her in the grove where they were standing. Today there is a shrine where this apparition took place, and many other miracles are attributed to Our Lady’s intercession there.
Our Lady of Peace, Santa Fe, NM
In 1680, the Pueblo Indians revolted against the prevailing government of Spanish immigrants in Santa Fe, NM. No one was spared; even almost two dozen Franciscan priests were martyred during this war (and are today honored on Martyr’s Hill). The massacre was so horrible that all of the Santa Fe settlers fled and went into exile for thirteen years, taking very little with them.
A general from Spain, Don Diego de Vargas, had great faith in the Blessed Mother. He carried an image of La Conquistadora on a flag and entered Pueblo territory in Santa Fe with it waved high. Don Diego was kind and knew Our Lady would deliver his people peacefully back into the territory. Miraculously, the Pueblo Indians began to trust Don Diego, who became the new governor of New Mexico, and the people were able to return.
Our Lady of Altagracia, Dominican Republic
According to pious tradition, the daughter of a rich merchant in the Dominican Republic asked her father to bring her a portrait of Our Lady of Altagracia from Santo Domingo, which no one had heard of at the time. The merchant, while traveling, was staying overnight at a friend’s house when a mysterious man with a long beard passed by and handed him a rolled up painting, saying, “This is what you are looking for.” It was a portrait of Our Lady of Altagracia, or Our Lady of High Grace. Shortly thereafter, the man vanished without a trace.
Today there is a shrine in the Dominican Republic where the image is encased. Venerators travel from far away, as many miracles have been attributed to Our Lady under this title. She is also the patroness of the Dominican Republic.
Our Lady of the Pillar, Zaragoza, Spain
An ancient Spanish tradition states that the Blessed Mother appeared to the apostle James the Greater (one of the original twelve) while he was praying by the banks of the Ebro. She was accompanied by angels, standing on a pillar, and appeared to him for encouragement. He had not made many converts and was battling discouragement at the time of the apparition.
Our Lady performed many miracles while in James’ presence and assured him that many people would come to the Faith because of his influence, and their faith would be as strong as the pillar she was standing on. Before she left James, she gave him a wooden statue of herself and instructed him to have a chapel built on the site in her honor. Today there is also a shrine where pilgrims venerate Our Lady of the Pillar.
Our Lady of Pompeii, Italy
In 1871, a third order Dominican who had taken the name Brother Rosario held a deep desire to promulgate devotion to Mary and the Rosary in the region of Pompeii, Italy, where he lived. As he began traveling, he became very disheartened at the lack of faith, and the extreme poverty and ignorance of the people he encountered. He was struggling with doubts of his own when he heard a voice say to him, “If you seek salvation, promulgate the Rosary. This is Mary’s own promise.” As a result, he began many festivals in honor of the Rosary, including games and lotteries to attract the secular people of the area. He also renovated a dilapidated church and named it Our Lady of the Rosary.
Then, in 1884, a young girl from Naples, Italy named Fortuna Agrelli was suffering from an unknown, incurable disease. Her family began a novena of rosaries, and on the final day of the novena, Mary appeared to Fortuna. Adorned in golden garments, the Blessed Mother was sitting on a throne with the Christ Child in her lap and a Rosary in her hand. Fortuna then asked the “Queen of the Rosary” to cure her, and Our Lady was moved with compassion, promising to do so if the young girl would offer three novenas of the Rosary for her request.
Fortuna was, indeed, cured, and Our Lady then told her, “Whoever desires to obtain favors should pray three novenas of the prayers of the Rosary in petition and three in thanksgiving,” which is how the Rosary Novena began.
Our Lady of Tears, Syracuse, Italy
In 1953, a young married couple, Antonina and Angelo Iannuso, received a statue of the Blessed Mother as a wedding gift and placed it in their home with great admiration, though they sheepishly admitted they were lax Catholics. When Antonina discovered she was pregnant, she was afflicted with toxemia and became blind, as well as partially epileptic. After a seizure that left her totally blind, Antonina recovered her sight the following day and set her gaze upon the statue of the Blessed Mother in her bedroom. The statue, to her astonishment, was weeping. When Antonina told her family members this, they also witnessed the tears streaming from the statue and onto the bed.
As a result, Antonina recovered completely from her toxemia and gave birth to a healthy child. The Church declared this phenomenon as supernatural in origin.
Our Lady of Siauliai, Lithuania
In 1457, a Lithuanian nobleman named Petras Gedgaudas generously donated some land to build a temple in honor of the Blessed Mother. He built a church dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin and Ss. Peter and Bartholomew. The faithful immediately flocked to celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. Shortly thereafter, Gedgaudas miraculously received an icon of Our Lady, which he placed in the new church. It eventually became a popular shrine, and Pope Pius VI approved the apparition, granting pilgrims indulgences for visiting the shrine.
Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, Lithuania
Based on a Renaissance painting that hung in a chapel in Lithuania, the monk Hilarion published a book in 1761, citing 17 miracles attributed to the image of the Blessed Mother. The first occurred shortly after the chapel was built in 1671, when a two-year-old fell from the second floor to the hard pavement and was gravely injured. His parents prayed to Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn, and their son immediately and miraculously recovered. Many other miracles are directly related to those who venerated the image. According to popular tradition, adorers leave a small object or image based on the cure they obtained praying to Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn. Today there are over 8,000 votive offerings in the chapel.
This image of Mary is also known as the Mother of Mercy and is closely attributed to the message of Divine Mercy. St. Faustina visited the Gate of Dawn chapel and wrote of the icon taking a “living appearance,” and then speaking to her: “Accept all that God asks of you like a little child, without questioning; otherwise it would not be pleasing to God.”
Our Lady of Pellevoisin, France
In 1876, a domestic servant named Estelle Faguette claimed to receive 15 apparitions of Mary. Before the apparitions occurred, Estelle wrote a letter to Mary, begging for a cure and subsequently recovered completely from tuberculosis, from which she was dying. Her cure was later deemed as miraculous. Following this authorization from her bishop, Estelle’s bedroom became an oratory and eventually a shrine to Our Lady of Pellevoisin.
Estelle said that the main message she received from Mary during the apparitions was an increased devotion to the scapular of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In fact, during the final apparition, Mary told Estelle, “I have many graces in store for those who wear this scapular with trust in me. These graces are my Son’s; I bring them from His Heart; he will refuse me nothing. The lady asked her to show the scapular to the local bishop and ask his assistance in promoting it.”
Holy Mother of Gietrzwald, Poland
Mary appeared to two girls, Justyna Szafrynska and Barbara Samulowska, first in 1877, before Poland became its own nation. At the time, the Polish people were forced to speak German, and their territory was divided into three partitions. Mary’s first message to the girls was of conversion, peace, and penance for sins. She spoke to the girls in their native Polish language, which in and of itself was a sign of encouragement to the Poles.
After nine appearances to the young girls, Mary’s final message was, “Pray the Rosary zealously!” There is now a minor basilica dedicated to Mary under this title in Poland, and the apparitions were approved by the Church in 1977.
Appearance to St. Dominic, France
In 1214, Dominic (one day the founder of the Order of Preachers, or Dominicans) was deeply afflicted by the sinfulness of heretics and poor example of Catholics. He wept for three days and did acts of mortification in reparation for these sins. From such extreme torture to his body, he fell into a coma.
While in the coma, St. Dominic saw a vision of Mary. She appeared with three angels and asked him, “Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world? If you want to win souls, preach the Angelic Psalter.” This was what is now known as the Rosary.
Immediately after recovering from his coma, St. Dominic preached the Rosary to the unconverted Albigenisan heretics, and he set apart fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, grouping them into five decades each. The Angelic Salutation is the Hail Mary, and the Psalter is the 150 Psalms. St. Dominic knew this to mean that the Blessed Mother intended for 150 Hail Marys to be prayed, which is how we have the Rosary we know today.
Apparitions at The Church of St. Demiana, Cairo, Egypt
The Church of St. Demiana is housed in a very poor and small Coptic Christian community in Egypt. In 1986, the Blessed Mother appeared beside the two towers of the church and was seen by those who lived in the houses overlooking the towers. They saw her full body surrounded by a halo of light, which was repeated several times until 1991. The light surrounding her was a true miracle, as the electrical current was shut off from the church, and the light remained. She is known as the Mother of True Lights in this region.
Four young school girls in the rural village of Garabandal, Spain witnessed apparitions of St. Michael the Archangel and Mary several times, beginning in 1961 and ending in 1965. She is often referred to as Our Lady of Mount Carmel of Garabandal because her appearance was that of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
The visionaries received two main messages, both of which call for “conversion of heart.” The first message was, “We must make many sacrifices, perform much penance, and visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently. But first, we must lead good lives. If we do not, a chastisement will befall us. The cup is already filling up, and if we do not change, a very great chastisement will come upon us.”
The second message, after no change occurred, was, “If you ask His forgiveness with a sincere heart. He will pardon you. I, your Mother, through the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, wish to tell you that you should make amends. You are now being given the last warnings. I love you very much, and I do not want your condemnation. Ask Us sincerely and We shall grant your plea. You must make more sacrifices. Reflect on the Passion of Jesus.”
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, New Orleans, Louisiana
Based on a wooden statue belonging to the Ursuline convent, many miracles have been attributed to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. First, in 1788, a destructive fire was devastating a section of New Orleans close to the convent and approached dangerously near to it. The nuns were instructed to evacuate the convent, but one particular sister, Sr. St. Anthony, placed the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor on a window seat and invoked her intercession with desperation. Immediately, the wind shifted direction, so that the fire avoided destroying the convent and was more easily extinguished.
The second miracle occurred in 1815 during the Battle of New Orleans, which was treacherously close to the Ursuline convent. As the canon fire drew closer, the sisters prayed to Our Lady that the American troops would overcome the British forces, which outnumbered them by 9,000 men. During Mass, the sisters were notified that the British were overcome by a dense fog and wandered into a swamp, leaving the American troops victorious.
Today, there is a shrine affiliated with Our Lady of Prompt Succor, and most devotees believe her intercession is particularly miraculous in situations where political and spiritual tensions abound.
Appearance to Nancy Fowler, Conyers, GA
From October 13, 1990 to October 13, 1998, housewife Nancy Fowler claimed to receive apparitions and messages from Mary that pertained specifically to the United States. Most of the messages were warnings, admonitions, or prayers. Pilgrims from everywhere in the nation flocked to the Conyers, Georgia property, where they awaited the appearance of Mary to Fowler. When she appeared, devotees would hold up rosaries and all sorts of religious articles, in the hopes that they would be blessed by Mary’s presence.
Pilgrims claimed to have witnessed other miracles that indicated the presence of Our Lady, such as seeing the sun spin, rosaries turning to gold, and the scent of roses in the air during the apparitions.
Appearance to St. Jean Vianney, France
Madame Durie, a wealthy benefactress who decided to donate a large amount of money to the Curé of Ars, entered the presbytery and climbed the stairs to bring the news to St. Jean Vianney. As she approached his room, she heard two voices. The first was gentle and sweet, asking, “What do you ask?” to which St. Jean replied, “the conversion of sinners, cure of the sick, and specifically for the cure of a person who has been suffering a long while,” the last of which referred to Mme. Durie. Mary replied, “She will be cured, but not yet.”
When Mme. Durie overheard this, she opened the door and found the Blessed Mother dressed in a dazzling white robe adorned with golden roses, her hands sparkling like diamonds and head crowned with shining stars. Mary looked at Mme. Durie and smiled sweetly at her, which provided the greatest consolation Mme. Durie had experienced in her time of need.
Our Lady of the Rock, Sicily, Italy
In 1620, a woman named Rosa traveled to the countryside with her blind daughter, Angelina. On their journey, an angel first appeared to Angelina, followed by the Blessed Mother. Mary instructed the girl to enter into a specific place in town and dig up a statue they’d find in the ground. The girl and her mother did, in fact, find the Marian statue, and Mary then requested that a shrine of sorts be constructed where the statue could be housed and venerated by all. As a sign of her favor, she granted sight to young Angelina.
Appearance to Blessed Elizabeth Canori Mora, Italy
On Christmas 1816, Elizabeth was praying in her home when the Blessed Mother suddenly appeared to her, carrying baby Jesus in her arms. Then Elizabeth saw apostates and heretics violently trying to grab Jesus from Mary’s arms, to which Mary explained, “Behold, my daughter, such great ungodliness.”
Mary then told Elizabeth that she asked God for His justice, rather than His mercy, to be poured onto the world. When the cause for canonization was opened for Elizabeth, despite scrupulous investigations of her mystical writings after the apparition occurred, no doctrinal deviation was discovered.
Blessed Virgin of the Convent and Woodland, Ozegna, Italy
In 1623, a deaf-mute teenage boy named Giovanni Petro was making hay in the countryside when he was privileged to see the Blessed Mother appear to him. Afterward, he completely regained his speech, and the site became a small but sacred place of pilgrimage.
Our Lady of the Woods, Lombardy, Italy
Three shepherds, one of whom was named Peter, witnessed an apparition of Our Lady near a large chestnut tree in 1617, near the fields where their sheep grazed. They claimed she rose up and disappeared into the sky, and they never saw her after that. But as a sign of credibility, the chestnut tree bore fruit out of season. A chapel was erected there shortly after the apparition. Others had seen the chestnut tree bathed in a glorious light with celestial music being sung around it.
Our Lady of Liesse, France
Three knights were captured by a Muslim sultan during the First Crusade. They were tormented in order that they might apostasize. Even promises of riches and ambition dangled in front of them, but to no avail. The sultan, angered at his inability to convert the Christian knights, sent his beautiful daughter to entice the young men into submission. Instead, she returned from their dungeon convinced of the case of Jesus and His Blessed Mother.
A miraculous image, known as Our Lady of Liesse, appeared to the three knights during their captivity, by way of the angels. When the Muslim princess saw it, she desired immediate conversion and escaped with the three knights to follow through with her wish. Once she was baptized, the image of Our Lady of Liesse became the basis for a church named in her honor.
What is your favorite Marian apparition? Leave a comment!
About the author.
JEANNIE EWING is a Catholic spirituality writer and national inspirational speaker. Among her eight books, "From Grief to Grace: The Journey from Tragedy to Triumph", is her most popular. She is a frequent guest on podcasts, radio shows, and has appeared on EWTN, CatholicTV, and ShalomWorld. Her deepest desire is to accompany those who suffer and are lonely. Visit her website at jeannieewing.com for more information.
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