All over the world thousands of shrines stand as testimony to the seeming reality of “Marian” apparitions and to the “miracles” reportedly accompanying them. As in the case with UFOs, while many alleged appearances of “the Virgin” may be explained away, there are many for which the testimony of witnesses can hardly be denied.
The Bible makes it clear that Mary remained a virgin only until “she had brought forth her firstborn son” (Matthew:1:25) and that she had other children by Joseph (Matthew:13:55; etc.). Therefore, any apparition claiming to be the “Virgin Mary” is not of God. Nevertheless, Mary must remain a virgin to merit the exalted position that Catholicism gives her. Consider the following from Pope John Paul II (note that “faith” is in Mary and the Church, not in Christ or His gospel):
“All those who have at some time prayed to the Most Holy Virgin, even though they may have strayed from the Catholic Church, conserve in their hearts an ember of faith which can be revived. The Virgin awaits them with maternal arms open wide.”
More than a hundred million devotees annually visit the thousands of Marian shrines around the world to be miracles from “Our Lady.” There are only a handful of shrines to Jesus, and these are visited by very few people. It is not unusual to see Roman Catholics, especially elderly women, crawling “on their bare knees going around a statue of Mary…getting up from this show of devotion with blood on their knees.” This demonic “Virgin Mary” keeps her followers looking to her and to their good works for salvation and thus missing the assurance they would have of eternal life if they trusted in Christ and His full payment of the penalty for their sin upon the cross.
There is neither example nor teaching in the Bible to indicate that God allows or has any purpose for a Peter, a Paul, an Abraham, a Mary, or any other dead person to appear to the living. Even a leading Catholic magazine describes Medjugorje and other apparitions not officially approved by the Church as a “very subtle con-game….”
Much that “Mary” says, however, is not subtle but openly blasphemous. For example, on December 25, 1996, Our Lady of Medjugorje declared, “I am your Mother.” Devotees of the apparition at Conyers, Georgia, have formed a group called “Our Loving Mother’s Children.” True Christians, however, are the “children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians:3:26), not the children of Mary. Yet Catholicism teaches that Mary’s followers become her children and that “no true child of Mary is ever lost.” Where can that be found in the Bible?
The “Mary” who appears promises what only God could do: to be with her millions of followers simultaneously around the world. The parish priest at Medjugorje, Fr. Slavko, writes: “Mary’s presence and proximity to us…is the main message of Medjugorje. The fact that people feel her presence and then, through her, God’s presence…[is] the strength of Medjugorje. We should at all times continue thanking God for her presence and become yet more conscious that she is with us…. Omnipresence is one of God’s unique qualities and it is blasphemy to attribute it to “Mary.”
“Mary’s” words are often repetitious and shallow, certainly unworthy of a special visitation to earth. “Mary” even makes childish errors, such as this from Our Lady of Medjugorje: “Pray, little children, for the health of my beloved Son, who suffers and whom I have chosen for these times.” Mary is concerned for the health of the resurrected and glorified Christ? And she has chosen Him? Catholics, who believe that Jesus Christ (body, soul, spirit, divinity, etc.) is simultaneously millions of tiny wafers in the Mass, have no problem accepting the equal fantasy that Jesus is a baby, a child, or even in bad health.