Mary, the mother of Jesus, is said to have been appearing in so many places in so many instances. These supernatural appearances of Mother Mary are called Marian apparitions. In some of these apparitions, the visionaries are said to have seen a lady, in some they confirm that it was Mother Mary. Every time, during these apparitions, a message is given to the world or to the locality.
Supernatural events of Marian apparitions
Apparitions of Blessed Virgin Mary are described as supernatural events as they cannot be explained by science or natural laws. They are events when the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared supernaturally to one or more people. These apparitions are often known by names based on the town in which the apparitions were reported. Some apparitions are reported to have occurred without any verbal communication. For example, the reported apparitions of Our Lady of Assiut report that many people could see a bright image atop a building and the bright image was also caught in cameras.
Belief of the Catholic Church
The Catholic Church believes that apparitions do occur and they are treated as private revelations. Though the Church sometimes, after much study, declares that some apparitions are worthy of belief, it does not require the faithful to believe them as divine faith. The Catholic Church has officially confirmed some apparitions such as the apparitions at Guadalupe, Saint-Étienne-le-Laus, Paris Miraculous Medal, La Salette, Lourdes and Fatima.
As a historical pattern, according to a report from Marianum Pontifical Institute in Rome, out of the 295 reported apparitions studied by the Catholic Church through the centuries only 12 have been approved so far. The church confirms the message given by the apparition and it states that cures and other miraculous events are not the purpose of Marian apparitions. The Catholic Church considers that Blessed Virgin Mary has a vital role in human salvation as she is hailed as the Co-redemtrix and she is still carrying out that role of saving humanity through her apparitions. Her apparitions are held to be evidences of her continuing active presence in the life of the church, through which she still cares for the brethren of her son Jesus who are still making their journey on the earth.
Scientific views about Marian apparitions
The scientific world is still searching for tools to confirm these apparitions since the present social or scientific methods are not convincing to them. Dr. James Paul Pandarakalam, reporting about the “Garabandel Visionary Experiences” says, “Medical scientists at the time took a respectful attitude towards the Garabandal events, realizing that they went beyond ordinary medical parameters. Some mainly quantitative tests were carried out, based on observations made at the scene… A team of French doctors studied the events in 1968 and concurred with the view that the apparitions were the products of a force beyond human capability.”
Human experiences about these Marian apparitions reveal that there is something supernatural in them. The Catholic Church directs the faithful to live a life of faith through a life of charity and love and warns them not to be carried away by mere rumors. The scientific world is yet to find proper tools to confirm if these supernatural apparitions are real.