Apparitions of Mary
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Saint Juan Diego experienced his first vision of the Virgin Mary on December 9, 1531. While on his way to mass, he was visited by Mary, who was surrounded in heavenly light, on Tepeyac Hill on the outskirts of what is now Mexico City. On December 12, while searching for a priest to administer last rites to his uncle, Juan Diego was visited by Mary a second time. Mary informed Juan Diego that his uncle would recover from his illness. Later, Saint Juan Diego found many roses on a hill in the winter. When he opened his cloak while appearing before the bishop, dozens of roses fell out, and an image of Mary was imprinted on the inside of his cloak. The bishop ordered that a church be built on Tepeyac Hill in honor of the Virgin Mary. Juan Diego returned home and found his uncle’s health restored.
Our Lady of Lourdes
At the Grotto of Lourdes, between February 11, 1858 and July 16, Saint Bernadette had a series of visions of the Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary revealed her identity with the words “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Saint Bernadette steadfastly defended the genuineness of these visions despite strong opposition. Saint Bernadette prevailed and Lourdes became a privileged sanctuary where Mary dispenses many favors, and many obtain a cure of their illnesses, both spiritual and corporal. Saint Bernadette was canonized by Pope Pius XI.
Our Lady of Fátima
Fátima is without question the greatest 20th century apparition. On May 13, 1917, and in each subsequent month until October, three young peasant children, Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, saw a woman who identified herself as the Lady of the Rosary. On October 13, Our Lady of the Rosary appeared to the children, and afterwards a crowd at Fátima witnessed a miraculous solar phenomenon. On October 13, 1930 the Bishop of Leiria accepted the children’s visions as the appearance of the Virgin Mary. Devotion to the Our Lady of the Rosary includes frequent recitation of the rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Since 1981, in a small village in Bosnia-Hercegovina named Medjugorje, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing and giving messages to the world. She tells us that God has sent Her to our world, and these years are a time of Grace granted by God. She tells us, "I have come to tell the world that God exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and peace, you must return to God". Our Lady's mission is to convert and recenter our lives back to God. Her role is one of guiding people to Her Son, Jesus.