Category: Church

“Worthy Of Believe” – Apparitions Officially Approved By The Holy See

“Worthy Of Believe” – Apparitions Officially Approved By The Holy See

A Roman Catholic approved Marian apparition is one that has been examined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith either based on certain criteria (which will be listed in our next article) and has been granted approval either through the local Bishop based on the direction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or received a direct approval from the Holy See.

Although a local bishop may provide a preliminary assessment (and allow the devotion to proceed forward), formal approval can only be provided after detailed analysis by the Holy See. For instance, although the apparitions at Our Lady of Laus were recognized by the local diocese in 1665, they received approval from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith centuries later, in 2008.

While Catholics are not required to believe any private revelation, even approved ones, apparitions and messages may be approved by the Church for local or universal devotion. This approval is done for the benefit of the faithful, declaring “worthy of belief” those private revelations that can be helpful to Christians striving towards the ultimate goal of Heaven.

The Church is always careful to subject private revelations to a process of study before making any judgment as to the appropriateness of devotion, as it does not want to lead anyone astray from the faith.

Apparitions favored by the Holy See usually:

  • Images enshrined have received a Canonical coronation from a Pope.
  • Become the site of major Roman Catholic Marian churches, or elevated its status as Minor Basilica.

Some apparitions such as in Assiut, Egypt have been approved by the Coptic Church and can be called approved but not Roman Catholic approved.

Here is a list of private revelations over the past two centuries that have been found authentic and are approved by the Holy See for personal belief.

Apparitions Approved by the Roman Catholic Church.


Our Lady of Laus (1664–1718)Edit

The apparitions of Our Lady of Laus between 1664 and 1718 in Saint-Étienne-le-Laus, France, to Benoîte Rencurel, a young shepherdess are the first Marian apparitions approved in the 21st century by the Roman Catholic Church. The apparitions were recognized by the diocese of the Roman Catholic Church on September 18, 1665. They were approved by the Vatican on May 5, 2008. Currently, the site where the apparitions took place receives more than 120,000 pilgrims a year.

Edit

Our Lady of Guadalupe (1531)Ed

The 1531 apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe was reported by Saint Juan Diego. He saw an early morning vision of the Virgin Mary in which he was instructed to build an abbey on the Hill of Tepeyac in Mexico. The local prelate did not believe his account and asked for a miraculous sign, which was later provided as an icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe permanently imprinted on the saint’s cloak where he had gathered roses. Over the years, Our Lady of Guadalupe became a symbol of the Catholic faith in Mexico and the Mexican diaspora.

Our Lady of La Salette (1846)Edit

The apparitions of Our Lady of La Salette were reported in La Salette in France in 1846 by two shepherd children, Mélanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud, followed by numerous accounts of miraculous healings. The Roman Catholic Church investigated the claims and found them credible.


Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (1830)

The vision of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal appeared to Saint Catherine Labouré in 1830 in the convent of Rue du Bac, Paris. She reported that one night in the chapel, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her and asked that a medallion be made to a design that she dictated. The lady added that, “All who wear this medal will receive great graces. After spending two years examining her claims, her priest eventually took the information to his archbishop. The medal eventually produced came to be referred to as the Miraculous Medal. The front of the medal displays a picture of the virgin as she appeared to Catherine Labouré. The design on the reverse includes the letter M and a cross. Pope John Paul II used a slight variation of the reverse image as his coat of arms, the Marian Cross. This is a plain cross with an M underneath the right-hand bar, to signify the Blessed Virgin standing at the foot of the Cross while Jesus was being crucified.


Our Lady of Lourdes (1858)Ed

In 1858 Saint Bernadette Soubirous was a 14-year-old shepherd girl who lived near the town of Lourdes in France. Bernadette Soubirous was out gathering firewood in the countryside. She reported a vision of a Miraculous Lady who identified Herself as “the Immaculate Conception” in subsequent visions.

The Lady made a sign for me to approach; but I was seized with fear, and I did not dare, thinking that I was faced with an illusion. I rubbed my eyes, but in vain. I looked again, and I could still see the same Lady. Then I put my hand into my pocket, and took my rosary. I wanted to make the sign of the cross, but in vain; I could not raise my hand to my forehead, it kept on dropping”  “The Lady took the rosary that she held in her hands and she made the sign of the cross”.



Edit

Kibeho, Rwanda

On November 28, 1981, six young girls and one boy claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus. The apparitions continued to members of the group until 1989. In 2001 the visions of three of the visionaries were confirmed as authentic. Our Lady’s message was that of repentance and an exhortation to pray the Rosary and Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows. Many believe one of the visions foretold the Rwandan genocide that occurred in 1994.



Banneux, Belgium

On January 15, 1933, it was claimed that Our Lady appeared to an 11-year-old girl named Mariette Beco. Our Lady declared to the girl, “I am the Virgin of the Poor.” She then pointed to a spring and said, “This spring is reserved for all the nations, to bring comfort to the sick.” By 1952 the apparitions were recognized by the Holy See as authentic. Many cures and conversions have occurred at these springs.

Fatima, Portugal

On May 13, 1917, three shepherd children, Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco, witnessed a beautiful lady who asked them to come there on the 13th of the month for the next six months. They received many messages and visions from Our Lady and on October 13 a “miracle of the sun” was witnessed by a large crowd of people. The apparitions were approved in 1930 and then recognized by Pope Pius XII in 1940.


Knock, Ireland

On August 21, 1879, 15 people witnessed a silent apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist. There was no verbal message from Our Lady of Knock, who appeared in a state of prayer. The apparition was approved by the local bishop and then recognized by Pope Pius XII in 1954.



    Why Does The Pope Wear Red Shoes?

    Why Does The Pope Wear Red Shoes?

    The papal shoes were the red leather outdoor shoes worn by the Pope. They should not be confused with the indoor Papal Slippers or the Episcopal sandals, which are the liturgical footwear proper to all ordained Catholic bishops of the Latin Rite.

    …and why Pope Francis decided not to wear them.

    Perhaps many recall Pope John Paul II with his red shoes, or wonder why Pope Francis doesn’t wear them. But did you know that these shoes are as ancient as the Church itself? Or that they have a highly significant meaning?

    Before starting with history, we have to clarify that most popes wore three types of shoes: red silk shoes for inside the Vatican, episcopal sandals to celebrate Mass (until 1969) according to the liturgical colors, and red leather shoes for outside. It is the latter shoes that we’re talking about today.


    Red shoes are associated with power, and not only within the Church. Pre-Roman Etruscan kings wore them as a symbol of status, because the red (which they called “royal purple”) was a costly dye obtained from rare sea snails. The Roman emperors continued with the tradition of red shoes indicating high status. The great aristocrats also wore them.


    Churchmen wore them, too. Red was used not only for the pope’s shoes but for his entire vestment, although this changed to white with Pope Pius V in the mid-16th century, as he was a Dominican. Red symbolized both the worldly authority of the pope and the Passion of Christ. It also symbolized the Pope’s submission to Christ, the love of God for humanity, and the remembrance of all the martyrs who gave their lives for Christ.


    Let’s take a closer look at the outdoor shoes. They are made of red leather (most of them come from Morocco) and they used to have a gold-embroidered cross. After 1958, Pope John XXIII added golden horseshoes that made them more closely resemble the shoes that bishops wore outside of Rome.

    Pope Paul VI asked for the elaborate cross to be removed, and did away with the custom of kissing the pontiff’s feet. He also removed the buckles from all ecclesiastical shoes and decided not to use the silk slippers inside the Vatican.


    However, the popes who succeeded him did return to the red shoes, and some were even buried with them: Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II, for example. For quite some time, John Paul II set aside the bright red in favor of a more burgundy tone with a simpler look; however, Pope Benedict XVI returned to the bright red shoes made by his own shoemaker, Adriano Stefanelli.


    Pope Francis chose to wear the red only indoors and opted for the black outdoor shoes he has always worn — and with which he arrived to the Vatican — as a sign of humility and austerity. They are made by the shoemaker he has used for more than 40 years, Carlos Samaria.

    Meanwhile, the papal mozzetta and cape are the few pieces of the papal vestments that are still red, a symbol of the upcoming celebration of Pentecost.

    About To Marry A Non-Catholic, What do I Need to know?

    About To Marry A Non-Catholic, What do I Need to know?

    Also, I’d like to get married in a Catholic church. Will that be possible?

    What does the Church say about Catholics marrying non-Catholics? I am Catholic and my fiancée is Evangelical. I’d also like to get married in a Catholic Church.

    Because the sacrament of marriage establishes between man and woman a “partnership of the whole of life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601), Christian spouses would ideally share the same religious conviction and practice, so that the partnership of their marriage might be as complete as possible.

    As we know, however, men and women can fall in love and wish to marry for a variety of reasons, even when religious faith or practice is not something that they share.

    While the Church acknowledges that the “difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage,” her pastors counsel nonetheless that “the difficulties of mixed marriages not be underestimated.” Many Protestant pastors also give this counsel.

    For her part, the Church desires that couples not experience the “tragedy of Christian disunity in the heart of their own home,” which can become a “source of tension in marriage, especially as regards the education of children” (1634).

    For this reason, the Church obliges the Catholic party wishing to enter into either a mixed marriage (Catholic and non-Catholic Christian) or an interfaith marriage (Catholic and non-Christian) to obtain special permission from his or her bishop. This permission is usually granted on the condition that the Catholic party will not be pressured into abandoning the Catholic faith, and that he or she will remain free to fulfill the duties of a Catholic parent, which includes raising the children in the faith. For the Catholic party to receive this permission, the non-Catholic party must agree to these terms.

    The reason that the Church takes extra care in these instances is because, ultimately, the Church wants to safeguard the souls in her care. So while the Church allows for mixed marriages, she also wants to make sure that Catholics are protected from any misunderstandings or from false or even unjust expectations by non-Catholic spouses. The marriage preparation phase before your nuptials is going to be essential for working through these questions with your fiancée.

    The Church does not require your fiancée to convert to Catholicism, but it wouldn’t hurt her to have a deeper understanding of her future husband’s faith. I recommend she attend Mass with you regularly, if she’s not already doing so, and for her to check out your parish RCIA program or other adult education program to get some basic instruction in the catechism.

    As for getting married in a Catholic church, there shouldn’t be any reason that you can’t, provided that you’ve received the required permissions. Your pastor will help you with this. Because marriage is one of the seven sacraments, and a marriage celebrated by two baptized Christians is a sacramental marriage, it stands to reason that the most natural place for your wedding to take place is in a church. Of course, this brings up the question of intercommunion between Catholics and non-Catholics, which the Church does not practice. This can be a sensitive issue for some couples. Again, your pastor can help you work through the issue in an intelligent and sensitive way.

    Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Still Strong At 91

    Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Still Strong At 91

    Pope Francis offered Monday’s Mass for his Predecessor on his birthday

    Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI still enjoys a strong mind at age 91, assured Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the private secretary of the former pontiff who is also prefect of the Pontifical Household.

    While his strength is lessened, he remains in a good mood, and enjoys good company, the archbishop added, speaking ahead of a presentation of a documentary on the German Pontiff, shown at the Vatican Film Library.

    The Emeritus Pope was just then praying the rosary in the Vatican Gardens, Gänswein said.

    This evening, the band of the Pontifical Swiss Guard was to play in honor of the Pope Emeritus at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery where he resides.

    And this morning, Pope Francis offered his morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta for the intention of his Predecessor.

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