Category Archives: The Immaculate Conception

“A significant turning point…”

The conception of Mary occurred 400 years before Rome even dreamed of its immaculacy.
Mary’s conception was understood by the Early Church to be no different than ours, until “a significant turning point” occurred toward the end of the 4th century.

Readers who have been following this blog are familiar with our position that Roman Catholicism as a religion originated in the latter part of the 4th century A.D. The religion of Rome is not of apostolic origin. As we explained in The Rise of Roman Catholicism, distinctively Roman Catholic dogma can be traced to the late 300s A.D., no earlier. In that article, we touched briefly on the late development of the immaculacy of Mary in the imagination of Rome. This week, we explore the magnitude of Rome’s historical revisionism in its attempt to prove the apostolicity of the dogma of her “Immaculate Conception.” Continue reading “A significant turning point…”

Like the Sun Going Down on Me

The miracle of the sun at Fatima
The Apparitions of Mary are known for their ability to bring the sun down to earth for their audiences

[This is the first installment of a three part series.]

This week, two “Marian” Popes are to be canonized as saints of the Roman Catholic church: Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. Both were very public about their devotion to Mary and frequented the sites of Marian apparitions. John XXIII was particularly devoted to the apparition of Mary at Lourdes, and emphatically commended “her” message to the faithful. In 1959, at the close of the 100-year anniversary celebration of the Apparitions of Mary at Lourdes, John XXIII said:

Following the pontiffs who, for a century, have recommended to Catholics that they should be attentive to the message of Lourdes, we urge you to listen with simplicity of heart and sincerity of mind to the salutary warnings of the Mother of God. (Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons, Miravalle, ©2008, p. 862)

John Paul II was also devoted to the apparitions of Mary, and believed that Mary of Fatima had protected him throughout his papacy. On a papal visit to Fatima on May 13, 2000, a message from John Paul II was read to the faithful gathered there:

On this solemn occasion of his visit to Fatima, His Holiness has directed me to make an announcement to you. As you know, the purpose of his visit to Fatima has been to beatify [two of the visionaries]. Nevertheless he also wishes his pilgrimage to be a renewed gesture of gratitude to Our Lady for her protection during these years of his papacy. (Announcement by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State)

In that same message, John Paul II had it announced that he would finally make public the “third secret of Fatima,” a prophecy that had been delivered to the popes from the vision of Mary through the visionary, Lucia.

But public and private teachings are not the only things the apparitions of Mary have to offer. Continue reading Like the Sun Going Down on Me

Mother Mary Speaks to Me (part 2)

John Paul II and Mary
The visions of Mary have a long-standing, two-way, verbal relationship with the Papacy.

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Last week, we discussed the propensity of Roman Catholics to rely on visions of Mary “to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation” despite the clear instructions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church not to do so (paragraph 67). Taylor Marshall relied on several visions of Mary to bolster his argument that Jesus was born on December 25th, and Fr. Livius relied on a private revelation to help him determine the meaning of the writings of several Church Fathers. But as apologist Fr. William Most has said, “In public revelation, the Church has the promise of divine protection in teaching,” while on the content of private revelation, including apparitions, “the Church does not have such a commission.” Thus it is true that while Roman apologists cite apparitions of Mary to bolster their arguments, it is also true that Roman Catholics “can refuse assent to such revelations … provided this is done … for good reasons.” It is not uncommon (in our experience) for a Roman Catholic on the one hand to cite the many examples of apparitions as evidence that Roman Catholicism is the true church, and then, on the other hand—when the actual content of the visions is brought forward—to dismiss those same apparitions “because we are not required to believe them anyway.”

But the freedom to reject the teachings of the apparitions as “private revelation” is not so simple as that. Continue reading Mother Mary Speaks to Me (part 2)