The Why of Marian Apparitions
Interview With Father Jesús Castellano Cervera
ROME, MAY 21, 2004 - At key moments, an apparition of the Blessed Virgin can be a means to reinforce the faith, says a specialist in Marian studies.
In this interview, Discalced Carmelite Father Jesús Castellano Cervera, a consultor for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and professor at the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum, reflects on the reasons for Marian apparitions and the mechanisms of the Church to confirm their veracity.
Q: Of what significance are apparitions in the Christian faith's plan of salvation?
Father Castellano Cervera: On one hand, authentic apparitions have as their theological significance the living presence of Christ in the Church. In Mary's case, there is also her particular presence next to Christ as Virgin assumed into heaven.
Mary's apparitions can be a means of the Church to confirm in the faith, to assure of her presence and maternal protection, particularly at certain times of history in which there is need to reinforce faith and hope.
Often, some of Mary's apparitions or the invention of a miraculous image of her have an ecclesiological meaning inasmuch as they give backing with a supernatural event to the certainty of Mary's presence in a particular Church, to foster reconciliation among people, as in the case of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Q: How does the Church verify the authenticity of apparitions?
Father Castellano Cervera: Above all, the Church is convinced that God can manifest himself to his people in any circumstance, as he did in the theophanies of the Old Testament and in the apparitions of the risen Jesus.
The Virgin can also do this. But the Church seeks to obtain the certainty of this presence given all the possible subjective mystifications, deceits and credulities that can direct many visionaries or so-called visionaries.
Given the cases that present themselves, and always with the desire to direct the faithful in the truth, the Church seeks to investigate above all the veracity of the events, excluding every possible mystification or error. It works to verify that there are no contradictions in the events and persons which might be opposed to faith, morality or Christian life.
It also seeks to verify the truth of the messages proposed and the fruits that are obtained.
The Church does so slowly and seriously. That is why sometimes years and years go by without an official pronouncement of the Church, inviting all in the meantime to follow the norms of faith and the principles of a healthy Marian theology and spirituality.
Q: Have there been apparitions recently? Where? Are they worthy of consideration?
Father Castellano Cervera: The list of supposed revelations and apparitions of the Virgin Mary is so large that it is not possible to give an account of them here.
Bishops have the duty to inform the Holy See when a phenomenon goes beyond the boundaries of the diocese.
Then, through the competent dicastery, which is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Holy See offers the appropriate instruments and suggests the way to proceed in such cases, always keeping present the good of the faithful and the essence of the faith and of the life of the Church, its liturgical practice, and the value of popular piety, based on the truths of the Bible, Tradition and the magisterium of the Church on Mary, so rich in texts as those of the Second Vatican Council; of Paul VI; the "Marialis Cultus," the 30th anniversary of whose publication is this year; and John Paul II's wonderful encyclical "Redemptoris Mater."
Q: It is now 150 years since the apparition in Lourdes. What has it represented for the history of the faith, and what teachings can we distill?
Father Castellano Cervera: The message of Lourdes seems obvious to me. With her apparition, Mary confirms the truth of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, as she herself presents herself to St. Bernadette.
From this moment on, the "mariofania" of Lourdes, recognized by the Church as a genuine apparition, becomes a point of reference of Marian devotion.
Lourdes is a charismatic place where the Virgin Mary, through the Church's ordinary pastoral care acts mysteriously also as source of grace and light for the physical, psychic and spiritual health of those who approach it with faith, hope and love.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Mary, Mother, Apparition, Virgin
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- St. Severian: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 21, 2017
- Massive storm threatens to flood more than just the Oroville Dam HD Video
- 'I Am A Muslim Too': Angry protesters gather to declare allegiance to ...
- Protesters gather to declare allegiance to Islam and hate toward ...
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, February 21, 2017
- Innocent children forced into horrid orphanages and a life of terrorism
- 31-year-old man regains life after 'miraculous' face transplant
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, February 20th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, February 19th, 2017 HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.