Home Forums General Discussion Apparitions of the Theotokos

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  • #1476 Reply
    Joe
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    I am curious: what does the Orthodox Church think about all the purported apparitions of the Theotokos to Roman Catholics, i.e. Guadalupe, Fatima, Medjugorge, etc ?
    I live in a mostly Hispanic part of the USA, so “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe” is very widely revered in my community… I have always felt nothing but love and admiration for this “story”, but I’d like to know the Orthodox position on visitations, and also your own personal opinions on this fascinating subject.

    #1477 Reply
    Joe
    Guest

    BTW, if you’ve never been to a Mexican church on Guadalupe Day, go! (Our watch it on Galavisión) It’s really really neat!

    #1478 Reply
    Joe
    Guest

    December 12th… I just can’t not like it… Such a beautiful adoration of Her!

    #1480 Reply
    Isaac
    Guest

    I still venerate the Lady of Guadalupe. There are some churches in Mexico and Guatemala that have her image on the iconostasis. There is a video of an Orthodox Church in New Jersey somewhere where some Mexican bishop was visiting and the people were venerating an icon of the Lady of Guadalupe. Orthodox or not, she will always have a special place in my heart. Doesn’t mean that she ceases who she is.

    #1481 Reply
    Maria
    Guest

    I think we should take them on a case-by-case basis. Our Lady of Lourdes, for example, is said to have confirmed the Roman Catholic teaching of the Immaculate Conception, so I wouldn’t think it appropriate to venerate this particular one…
    I used to be very devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes when I was Catholic so it is a little difficult for me, though.

    One of my favourites is Our Lady of Zeitoun (at a Coptic Church in Egypt).

    #1482 Reply
    Joe
    Guest

    I just looked up Zeitoun… there are lots of photographs! The fact that she was seen (and identified as The Virgin) by so many people of different faiths is very interesting… As far as I know, only one person actually saw three apparitions at Guadalupe (San Juan Diego) and Lourdes (St. Bernadette), but they got messages to deliver and signs to show others…
    Most people lump this kind of thing in with UFOs and Bigfoot, but who knows?

    #1483 Reply
    Joe
    Guest

    Line 7 “the” not “three”

    #1484 Reply
    Maria
    Guest

    Yeah, that’s one of the things about Zeitoun that makes it so interesting to me 🙂
    Determined to prove whether or not it was a hoax, the city shut down all the power in the area, but the apparition still shone brightly. Muslims and Christians alike in the city believe it to be the Virgin Mary. I just love it 😀

    #1485 Reply
    Joe
    Guest

    I guess an “apophatic” (correct use of word?) is best when confronted with events like these; that is, figuring out “what it is” by finding out “what it isn’t”.
    It’s actually tough to locate my own opinion on Marian apparitions and other types of visitations, having never experienced anything like it! (Although, icons do sometimes give me the ‘sensation’ of an apparition… I guess I could imagine that witnessing a true bodily apparition of a saint would be like seeing an icon appear from thin air?)

    #1486 Reply
    Maria
    Guest

    I believe very much in the possibility of them, and other similar miracles (like weeping or bleeding icons). The Holy Snakes of the Virgin Maria is another interesting such phenomenon.

    #1487 Reply
    Joe
    Guest

    That’s really neat! I’ve always liked snakes; I used to have one as a pet! 🙂
    It took a little research to get the Orthodox perspective on this… The first thing I looked at was Wikipedia, (mistake) which called it propaganda, myth, and got the story all wrong, saying the nuns were transformed into the snakes, not protected by them. Then I watched the you tube video, and even though it was low resolution, badly translated from Greek, and obviously intended for children, it cleared things up quite a bit!
    I remember seeing a program about another “annual” miracle in Italy that, failing to occur, forewarns of disaster… It has to do with the reconstitution of the blood of a saint, untouched inside its reliquary, on the feast day of that saint… I can’t remember the names.
    I certainly do believe that miracles occur all the time, but I’m not as confident in my ability to identify them! 🙂

    #1488 Reply
    Joe
    Guest

    San Gennaro in Napoli! (I just remembered)

    #1489 Reply
    Joe
    Guest

    As for the snakes and the nuns, Wikipedia might not be all wrong… I’m sure God was totally capable of turning them into snakes to protect them if he wanted… I’d rather be protected by snakes than be turned into one, but on the other hand, I’d rather be turned into a snake than get tortured and raped by a ship-full of pirates! 🙂

    #1490 Reply
    Maria
    Guest

    The most amazing part of the story to me is how the snakes come to the church every year, have those crosses on them, and aren’t seen for the rest of the year.

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