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Traditionally Approved Apparitions

History

Traditionally Approved

40 - 999 1400 - 1499
1000 - 1099 1500 - 1599
1100 - 1199 1600 - 1699
1200 - 1299 1700 - 1799
1300 - 1399 1800 - 1899

Vatican Approved
Bishop Approved
Coptic Approved
Approved for Faith Expression
Apparitions to Saints
Unapproved Apparitions

Although the Council of Trent (1545-63) established the local bishop as the first and main authority in apparition cases, it wasn't until the beginning of the 17th century that the first episcopal investigative commissions began examining apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Prior to this time, there had been hundreds or thousands of reports of apparitions of the Virgin Mary throughout the history of the Church all over Europe and elsewhere around the world. Legend tells us that the first apparition of Our Lady was to St. James in Saragossa, Spain in 40 AD. Without any official means to be investigated, early apparitions were often evaluated by the local parish priest and community. Typically the most tangible signs of approval were found in the building of a church or sanctuary at the location of the event. Later, bishops and even Popes have visited these shrines and through various other forms of recognition have affirmed the tradition of an authentic apparition happening in that place and encouraged the associated devotion. Some apparitions have occurred during the era of investigation but never received the full investigation of the Church such as those in La Vang, Vietnam in 1798 but which have the Vatican's full endorsement nonetheless.

Below is a partial list of highlighted Marian apparitions which enjoy the Church's traditional approval. Please click on the links of dates to the left to see full lists of the thousands of apparitions throughout the ages.

Traditionally Approved
 

Zaragoza, Spain (40)

Title: Our Lady of the Pillar

Feast Day : October 12th

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
Jan 2, 40 AD

Approved:

Last Apparition:
Jan 2, 40 AD

Visionaries: St. James the Greater

Number of Apparitions: 1

Miracles & Signs:
The chapel originally built by Saint James was later destroyed as were several subsequent chapels on the same site. The statue and pillar have been preserved however for almost 2000 years.

Summary:According to legend, in the early days of the Church on January 2, 40 AD, the Apostle James the Greater was proclaiming the Gospel in Caesaraugusta (present day Zaragoza) by the river Ebro, when he saw Mary miraculously appearing in the flesh on a pillar calling him to return to Jerusalem.

Le Puy en Velay, France (250)

Title: Our Lady of the Le Puy

Feast Day : July 11th

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
250

Approved: Traditional approval only

Last Apparition:
250

Visionaries: Vila, a convert woman

Number of Apparitions: 1

Miracles & Signs:
After seeing Our Lady, Villa was cured and built a small chapel on the site of the apparition. Throughout history, other miracles were performed there, which gained a certain popularity for the shrine.

Summary: Our Lady appeared in Le Puy (Haute-Loire, France), in a chapel built by the faithful few years before on a high mountain, to a recent convert. She had been plagued by a serious illness and no doctor had been able to help. Our Lady, during her appearance, completely cured her.

Rome, italy (352)

Title: Our Lady of the Snows

Feast Day : August 5th

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
Aug 4, 352

Approved:

Last Apparition:
Aug 4, 352

Visionaries: John of Rome, Pope Liberius

Number of Apparitions: 1

Miracles & Signs:
The Virgin Mary miraculously left snow in the middle of the hot month of August on Esquiline Hill on the precise area in which she wanted the church built.

Summary: A wealthy but childless Roman couple, John and his wife decided to leave their fortune to the Church. The Virgin appeared to them on the night of August 4th and told them that she wished a basilica to be constructed on the Esquiline Hill which would be outlined in snow. Pope Liberius also received the same message from the Virgin and ordered the construction of St. Mary Major Basilica.

Covadonga, Spain (722)

Title: Our Lady of Covadonga

Feast Day : September 7th

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
722

Approved: A Basilica stands at the spot of the apparition to honor Our Lady of Covadonga.

Last Apparition:
722

Visionaries: Dom Pelayo, first King of the Asturias

Number of Apparitions: 1

Miracles & Signs: The Christians defeated the Moors at the battle of Covadonga against incredible odds.

Summary: Dom Pelayo, first King of the Asturias led the first victory over the Moors in all the Iberian Peninsula in the year 722. Our Lady appeared to him and left behind a statue of Herself and the Christ Child.

Walsingham, England (1061)

Title: Our Lady of Walsingham

Feast Day : September 24th (originally March 25)

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
1061

Approved: During Pope John Paul II's visit in 1982, he asked that the statue be placed on the altar for Mass. In 2000, he decreed that the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham would be celebrated on September 24th in England.

Last Apparition:
1061

Visionary: Richeldis de Faverches

Number of Apparitions: 1

Summary: In 1061 Our Lady appeared to Richeldis de Faverches, a Catholic English noblewoman in the village of Walsingham in Norfolk, England. Our Lady of Walsingham presented her with the plans of the Holy House of the Holy Family in Nazareth and asked that she build the house as a shrine and place of pilgrimage.

Barcelona, Spain (1218)

Title: Our Lady of Ransom / Our Lady of Mercy

Feast Day : September 24th

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
August 10, 1218

Approved: The Order of the Mercedarians was approved by Gregory IX on Jan 17, 1235

Last Apparition:
August 10, 1218

Visionaries: St. Peter Nolasco, St. Raymund of Pennafort, King James of Aragon

Number of Apparitions: 1

Miracles & Signs: A plague of locusts was banished from Barcelona through the intercession of the Virgin of Mercy.

Summary:The Blessed Virgin appeared to three men who established the Mercedarian religious order for the redemption of Christian captives from Moorish imprisonment and offer themselves, if necessary, as an exchange.

Aylesford, England (1251)

Title: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Feast Day : July 16th

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
July 16, 1251

Approved: Confirmation of the Rule of the Order by Pope Honorius III, Gregory IX, and Pope Innocent IV

Last Apparition:
July 16, 1251

Visionaries: St. Simon Stock

Number of Apparitions: 1

Summary: In answer to St. Simon Stock's appeal for help for his oppressed order, the Virgin Mary appeared to him with a scapular in her hand and the promise of safety from Hell. Soon after, he instituted the confraternity of the Brown Scapular.

Cacerces, Spain (1326)

Title: Our Lady of Guadalupe

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
1326

Approved: No official approval.

Last Apparition:
1326

Visionaries: Gil Cordero

Number of Apparitions: 1

Summary: Legend says that in 1326, near the Guadalupe river in Cacerces, Spain, cowherd Gil Cordero experienced an apparition of the Virgin Mary who directed him to a miraculous buried statue given to Spain from Pope Gregory the Great 600 years prior.

Liguria, Italy (1490)

Title: Our Lady of the Guard

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
August 29, 1490

Approved: No official approval. The shrine was visited by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Last Apparition:
August 31, 1490

Visionaries: Benedetto Pareto

Number of Apparitions: 2

Summary: According to tradition, on August 29, 1490 the Virgin Mary appeared to a peasant called Benedetto Pareto and asked him to build a chapel on the mountain.

Wesemlin, Lucerne (1513)

Title: Our Lady of the Angels

Investigated: NA

First Apparition: Pentecost 1513

Approved: Traditional approval only. A shrine was built on the location of the apparitions.

Last Apparition: 1513

Visionaries: Maurice von Mettenwyl, city councilor

Number of Apparitions: 2

Summary: During the night of Pentecost of 1513, the city councilor, Maurice von Mettenwyl, saw the Virgin Mary surrounded by a heavenly light and surrounded by arrows and the moon was at her feet. Mary appeared crowned and carrying the Child Jesus on her left arm, while the right hand was a scepter. Faced with this majestic appearance of the man was shocked and fell on his knees, promising to rebuild the chapel and put the portrait of Mary in her place, as she had appeared.

Garaison, France (1515)

Title: Notre Dame de Garaison

Investigated: NA

First Apparition: 1515

Approved: Traditional - Popes Urban VIII and Gregory XVI have issed indulgences for those who visit the Shrine built in honor of the apparitions.

Last Apparition:1515

Visionaries: Angleze Sagazan

Number of Apparitions: 3

Miracles & Signs: Many cures are attested there.  In the 17th century the young Louis XIV was cured, following a vow of his mother Ann of Austria to Our Lady of the "Cure."

Summary: In France, in the Pyrenees, the Virgin appeared to a shepherdess, Angleze Sagazan.  Mary visited her three times near the source of the Cier. Mary made the request to her, "I want a chapel to be built here to me."

Ocotlán, Tlaxcala, Mexico (1541)

Title: Our Lady of Ocotlán

Feast Day: Second Sunday of July

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
Spring 1541

Approved: Pope Benedict XIV granted Indulgences, privileges and Apostolic indults to the faithful venerating the image of Our Lady of Ocotlan. Pope Clement XIII declared a feast day to be celebrated on a Sunday in July, in honor of this apparition.

Last Apparition:
Spring 1541

Visionaries: Juan Diego Bernardino

Number of Apparitions: 1

Summary: A young native Tlaxcalan man named Juan Diego Bernardino was going to draw water from a river believed at the time to have healing properties. Our Lady appeared to him and lead him to a special spring of water. She promised him that an image of herself could be found within a tree. The Franciscans discovered the image and placed it in the San Lorenzo monastery.

Vailankanni, India (1580)

Title: Our Lady of Good of Health

Feast Day : September 8th (also December 8th)

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
1580

Approved: Nov 3, 1962
(Pope John the XXIII raises the Shrine to Basilica status)

Last Apparition:
1600

Visionaries: A shepherd boy named Tamil Krishnannesti Sankaranaranayam and a crippled boy

Number of Apparitions: 2

Miracles & Signs: A crippled boy is healed and a Portuguese trade ship is saved from a violent storm. Other miracles have been reported at the Shrine.

Summary: There are three major events associated with Our Lady of Good of Health in Vailankanni. The Virgin Mary is said by tradition to have appeared to a shephered boy named Tamil Krishnannesti Sankaranaranayamwho offered her child milk. She is subsequently said to have appeared to and healed a crippled boy selling buttermilk. A group of Portuguese sailors attribute being saved from a violent storm to her intercession. They constructed a larger chapel at their landing spot in Vailankanni.

Coromoto, Portuguesa, Venezuela (1652) (

Title: Our Lady of Good of Coromoto

Feast Day : Februrary 2nd

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
1652

Approved: Traditional approval only. In 1950, Pope Pius XII declared Our Lady of Coromoto the Patroness of Venezuela. Pope John Paul II crowned the image and Pope Benedict XVI elevated the National Shrine of Our Lady of Coromoto to the rank of Minor Basilica.

Last Apparition:
1652

Visionaries:Cospes Coromoto and his wife

Number of Apparitions: 2

Summary:The first apparition of the Virgin Mary was in the forest where the Cospes had fled, on September 8, 1652, when the Virgin appeared to the Cacique (ruler) of the Cospes Coromoto and his wife, saying in his own language: "Go to the white house and ask them to pour water into their head to go to heaven"; then, the Virgin asked him and his tribe to be baptized.

Guáitara Canyon, Columbia (1754)

Title: Our Lady of Las Lajas

Feast Day: September 16th

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
1754

Approved: Traditional approval only. The Roman Catholic Church authorized the cult of Nuestra Señora de Las Lajas Virgin in 1951.

Last Apparition:
1754

Visionaries: 2 (Maria Mueses de Quinones and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa)

Number of Apparitions: 1

Summary: In 1754, Maria Mueses de Quinones, an Indian woman from the village of Potosi, Colombia and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa were caught in a very strong storm. They sought refuge in a canyon between the gigantic Lajas. To Maria's surprise, her mute daughter, Rosa exclaimed with her first words "the mestiza is calling me..." She did not see the figures of a woman and child that the girl described and fearfully ran back with her daughter to Ipiales and told the townspeople. After later returning to the spot, the woman saw an apparition of Our Lady and Child. Some months later, Rosa died and was returned to life when her mother prayed again at the cave. The townspeople came to see this place and encountered the miraculous image burned into the rocks.

LaVang, Vietnam (1798) (

Title: Our Lady of La Vang

Feast Day: November 22nd

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
1798

Approved: Traditional approval only. Pope John Paul II celebrated the 200th anniversary of the apparitions.

Last Apparition:
1798

Visionaries: 100,000

Number of Apparitions: 1

Summary: Many Christians took refuge in the jungle near Quang Tri where they prepared themselves for martyrdom. Many people died from the weather, wildlife, sickness and starvation. One night while praying the rosary they were visited by an apparition of Our Blessed Mother holding a child in her arms, with two angels at her sides. She comforted them and told them to boil the leaves from the surrounding trees to use as medicine. She also told them that all those who came to this place to pray, would get their prayers heard and answered. All those who were present, including Buddhists, witnessed this miracle.

Lichen, Poland (1813, 1850) (

Title: Our Lady of Lichen

Investigated: 1852

First Apparition:
1813

Approved: Traditional approval only. In 1967 the Primate of Poland crowned the image. Pope John Paul II consecrated the Sanctuary on June 7,1999.

Last Apparition:
1850

Visionaries: Tomasz Klossowski (soldier) and Mikolaj Sikatka (63 - shepherd)

Number of Apparitions: 2

Summary:
According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared in Lichen, Poland to Tomasz Klossowski, a wounded soldier, in 1813 who was healed and discovered a miraculous portrait of Our Lady. She then appeared to a poor shepherd, Mikolaj Sikatka, in 1850 who promoted her devotion. She foretold of a cholera epidemic and interceded for the healing of many who sought her help.

Pompeii, Italy (1884)

Title: Our Lady of Pompeii

Feast Day: May 8th

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
March 3 , 1884

Approved: Traditional approval only. Pope Paul VI crowned the image in 1965; John Paul II visited the shrine in 1979 and 2003.

Last Apparition:
May 8, 1884

Visionary: Fortuna Agrelli

Number of Apparitions: 2

Miracles & Signs: The miraculous cure of Fortuna

Summary:The Virgin appeared as the Queen of the Rosary on March 3, 1884 to Fortuna Agrelli after she and her parents had prayed for her recovery from an illness. The girl was healed on May 8 of that year.

Dong Lu, China (1900)

Title: Our Lady of China

Feast Day: Vigil of Mothers Day (the second Sunday of May)

Investigated: N/A

First Apparition:
1900

Approved: 1932
(Pope Pius XI approved it as an official Marian Shrine)

Last Apparition:
1900

Visionaries: Thousands

Number of Apparitions: 1

Miracles & Signs: 300+ miraculous cures

Summary:
The Virgin Mary appeared as a beautiful lady in the skies when Catholics implored Her to save them from their enemies and their city from destruction during the Boxer Rebellion. In thanksgiving for Our Lady’s protection over the city of Donglu, a beautiful church was built in her honour. It was meant to serve as a constant reminder to the people of Mary’s loving and motherly protection.

 
 

 
   
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