It is believed by many that Mary has appeared to several individuals over the course of history. The Roman Catholic Church has officially declared many appearances as genuine:
- Our Lady of Guadalupe (1531)
- Our Lady of Laus (1664–1718)
- Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (1830)
- Our Lady of La Salette (1846)
- Our Lady of Lourdes (1858)
- Our Lady of Pontmain (1871)
- Our Lady of Knock (1879)
- Our Lady of Fátima (1917)
- Our Lady of Beauraing (1932–1933)
- Our Lady of Banneux (1933)
First, is there any biblical support for these apparitions? Are they plausible according to Scripture? John wrote:
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” – 1 John 4:1-3 KJV
John tells us not to believe every spirit, but to try the spirits to determine whether or not they are from God. These apparitions have occurred many years ago so we cannot try those spirits today, but can we examine their claims to determine if what they said agrees with Scripture? Let’s take a look at a few examples.
Our Lady of Guadalupe (1531)
“Know, know for sure, my dearest, littlest, and youngest son, that I am the perfect and ever Virgin Holy Mary . . . I am truly your merciful Mother, yours and all the people who live united in this land and of all the other people of different ancestries, my lovers, who love me, those who seek me, those who trust in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their complaints and heal all their sorrows, hardships and sufferings . . . Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more?” – Apparition at Guadalupe, Mexico1
Does the Scripture teach that we are to seek and trust in Mary? Does the Scripture teach that she will hear our weeping and complaints and heal all of our sorrows, hardships, and sufferings?
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” – Psalm 20:7 KJV
“Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” – Psalm 107:20 KJV
Does Mary protect us?
“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:3 KJV
Is she the source of our Joy?
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” – Romans 14:17 KJV
Do we need anything more? Yes, we need Jesus!
Our Lady of Fátima (1917)
“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God to bear all the sufferings He wants to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and for the conversion of sinners? . . . I will take Jacinta and Francisco shortly; but you will stay here for some time to come. Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne, . . . Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often to Jesus, especially whenever you make a sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” – Apparition at Fátima, Portugal2
Does the Scripture teach that we are to “bear all the sufferings” as an “act of reparation” for our sins? Didn’t Jesus Christ bear our sins on the cross? Didn’t He make the one sacrifice for sins forever?
“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” – Hebrews 9:13-14 KJV
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all . . . But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God . . . For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” – Hebrews 10:10, 12, 14 KJV
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24 KJV
Where in Scripture does it teach that Mary promises salvation? Does Mary facilitate salvation in any way? In fact, the Scripture teaches the opposite:
“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole . . . Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” – Acts 4:10, 12 KJV
And lastly, since when are man’s sins committed “against the Immaculate Heart of Mary”? Sin is the transgressing of the law:
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” – 1 John 3:4 KJV
Most importantly, whose law? Mary’s law? No, God’s law!
After reading the statements made by the apparitions at Guadalupe and Fátima, it is clear that these apparitions are not pointing to Jesus Christ. On the contrary, they are pointing to themselves. Any apparition that promises salvation, claims to provide comfort, joy, and protection, and demands that people make reparations for sins committed against its immaculate heart is clearly not of God.